We are one step closer to victory in the Hudson River—The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that it is suspending its process to consider siting ten new anchorage grounds, places where large ships can anchor, in the Hudson River, until it has conducted a Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment—essentially a risk assessment—of the River.
If unchecked, the Coast Guard’s proposal would allow massive barges—up to 600 feet long—to anchor off the shore of Hudson River communities. This would not only industrialize pristine sections of the Hudson River, but it would also endanger aquatic wildlife, such as the Atlantic sturgeon. Significantly, it would also facilitate the transport and storage of crude oil by tanker up and down the Hudson River, contributing to climate change.
NRDC has been actively fighting this anchorage proposal since it was announced in 2016. In December 2016, we submitted formal comments opposing to new anchorages in the River, and urged members of the public to do the same. In total, more than 10,200 comments were submitted to the Coast Guard, 94 percent of them in opposition to new anchorages. And just last week, after advocacy by NRDC, its members, and other environmental groups such as Scenic Hudson and Riverkeeper, the New York State legislature passed a bill that would allow the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to establish "tanker avoidance zones" in the Hudson River, places where tankers can’t park.
But the fight isn’t over.
First, the Coast Guard must still conduct the Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment, and can renew its proposal after the assessment is over. In the fall, the Coast Guard will host a two-day stakeholder workshop as part of the assessment.
Speak up for the Hudson—If you want to be considered for participation in the workshop, email HudsonRiverPAWSA@uscg.mil by July 21 with your name, contact information, connection to the waterway, experience, and related skills.
Second, Governor Cuomo must still sign this important state legislation into law.
Call Governor Cuomo's office now to let him know what you think of the anchorages bill: 518-474-8390.
While the fight isn’t over, we are closer than ever to blocking new anchorages from the Hudson River, and with your help, we can keep more barges out of the Hudson River.