Upriver, channels diverge and a unique habitat of small islands and wetlands cry out for preservation. Here, mink, otter, and beaver live along the shore. Though huge container ships plow through the dredged, deep-water channel, this slow, low-lying stretch of the river is a link back to an earlier time. It offers a chance to re-discover our intimate relationship to the natural world.
It's in the quiet of the river that we get an inkling of how Native Americans lived: trapping fish, building small disposable dwellings, carefully observing the plants and wildlife. We no longer weave fishnets out of bark or make hooks out of deer bone, but just as the Lenape survived by adjusting their lives to the river's, we're beginning to understand that we need to respect, not dominate, the environment around us.
The decline of the bald eagle in the Hudson Valley was a direct result of human interference: from the use of pesticides to the destruction of habitat. And it's humans who are helping to bring the eagle back. Riverkeeper works with scientists and government agencies to reduce pollution, preserve nesting sites, and protect the eagle's main source of food, fish.