Riverkeeper: A Model of River Advocacy and a True Champion of the Hudson River


Riverkeeper
works to protect the environmental, recreational and commercial integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, and to safeguard the drinking water of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. The Moore Charitable Foundation and founder Louis Bacon are proud and long-time supporter of Riverkeeper and stand behind its work up the Hudson, and in and around the bays of New York City.

riverkeeper-patrol-1A little history: In 1966, the Hudson River was dying. Treated as essentially an open sewer from Albany to New York City, it had been poisoned and stolen from the public. A group of concerned former marines, commercial fisherman, factory workers and carpenters finally had enough. Stepping up to bring the polluters to task, they formed the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association (HRFA). It was a mighty turn of events, and fifty years later, evolved into the form of Riverkeeper, with Paul Gallay as Hudson Riverkeeper, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. as Chief Prosecuting Attorney and John Lipscomb as Boat Captain, with many other tireless workers and partners, the organization has become a trusted model of education and action for river advocacy around the world, and the force that turned – and keeps – the Hudson River glorious again.

In 2015, Riverkeeper fulfilled its role as watchdog for the Hudson in many ways, including the following:

  • Holding back oil terminal expansion: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) changed course on a proposed oil terminal expansion in Albany
  • Tappan Zee Bridge/endangered sturgeon: Monitoring and outreach around the massive Tappan Zee Bridge construction project. Riverkeeper made known the dramatic spike in sturgeon deaths reported to New York State coinciding with the bridge project
  • Water quality sampling: Expanded the water quality testing program and took more than 6,200 measures of water quality from 315 locations, including new monitoring projects at Ossining Beach and in the Saw Mill River, and a pilot project in the Mohawk River
  • Biggest shoreline cleanup ever: More than 2,000 volunteers netted 40 tons of trash and planted/maintained trees along Hudson Valley and New York City shorelines during the fourth annual Riverkeeper Sweep on May 9, 2015
  • Improving New York City’s waterways: Attacked stormwater pollution on Newtown Creek and the Gowanus Canal by systematically targeting industrial operators that lack Clean Water Act permits. Notices of intent to sue led many previously non-compliant operators to obtain permits and adopt best management practices as part of a stormwater pollution prevention plan.

Now – or rather, still, we have Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. In 2015, Riverkeeper concluded two federal and state-level historic hearings in the battle to deny Entergy another 20 year license, spotlighting the plant’s eight mishaps during the year, including a transformer explosion and fire; highlighting its massive incidental killing of over a billion fish per year; and documenting how this security threat to metro New York can be replaced safely and inexpensively while ensuring reliable electric service.

It is up to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, currently examining the inputs, to determine whether the plant’s licenses should be renewed. We strongly encourage readers to click here to learn more about the threats of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant to the Hudson River and surrounding residents, to take action in favor of a sustainable energy future, and stand with Riverkeeper. 

In 2001, Louis Bacon, Founder and Chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliate foundations was honored to be the 2001 recipient of Riverkeeper’s Environmental Leadership Award. 

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How to Get Involved on Giving Tuesday

GT_Lockup_alt1Giving Tuesday is a national movement devoted to charitable giving and volunteering. Many of our wonderful partners are developing groundbreaking campaigns to give back and are mobilizing around this dedicated day of giving.
Support Group for the East End in their efforts to raise $20K for education and water conservation this Giving Tuesday. Also, our partners at Panthera are working to raise $680K to protect Wild Cats around the globe. See how you can get involved here.
Learn more about what our other partners are doing to celebrate this holiday: Audubon, Sea Turtle Conservancy, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, Less Cancer, Grow NYC, Waterkeeper, Oceana Land Trust AlliancePeconic Land Trust.
Start the Holiday season off right by giving back to your community.

Waterkeeper Alliance’s “Riverkeeper Sweep” Helps Clean Up the Hudson River

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Volunteers participate in the “Riverkeeper Sweep,” one of the biggest day of service for the Hudson River
Photo courtesy James D’Addio

On Saturday, May 11, more than 1,380 volunteers participated in the 2nd annual “Riverkeeper Sweep” and removed over 36 tons of trash from more than 70 shorelines from Brooklyn all the way to Albany, and planted 300 trees and shrubs.

The 2nd annual Sweep tripled last year’s turnout and was the biggest day of service this year for the Hudson River.

As part of the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH series, presented nationally by Toyota, volunteers and advocates nationwide are stepping up this spring and summer to highlight ways we can make our waterways healthier for wildlife, and safer for swimming, fishing and drinking.

The bottom line: our river, its estuary and its watershed are cleaner today!

So what’s next? Stay involved. The Riverkeeper Sweep happens once a year but the river needs you all year round.

Do you want fish that are abundant—and safe to eat? Do you want water that is consistently safe for swimming?

Working together, we can make it so.