Blogs > Boat Blog > On notice: Crude oil transport on Hudson threatens endangered species

On notice: Crude oil transport on Hudson threatens endangered species

Photo credit: Cacophny

Photo credit: Cacophny

The recent massive increase in crude oil shipments on and along the Hudson River by rail, ship and barge poses an unacceptable triple threat to the many significant or protected marine species that rely on miles of unique and irreplaceable habitat.

Because the river is a tidal estuary, meaning it ebbs and flows with the ocean tide, it supports a biologically rich environment, making it a vital ecosystem for various species of aquatic life. For many key species, it provides critical habitats and essential spawning and breeding grounds.

Atlantic Sturgeon in the Hudson feed on the river bottom, grow to 8 feet in length and live 50-plus years. The River used to be home to many thousands of these beautiful fish, though now there are less than 300 spawning age adults in the river during spawning season. This species and 16 others are either threatened or listed on the endangered species list.

Now, with millions of gallons of oil being shipped down the river on ships and barges, and millions more carried each day on trains along the river’s edge, the threat is even greater — the danger more imminent.

The Center for Biological Diversity this week took a heroic first step in holding industry and regulators accountable for the likely devastation of a crude oil spill in the Hudson River, when the group boasting some 625,000 members filed a notice of intent to sue sent to the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard based on alleged “Violations of the Endangered Species Act” related to the New York and New Jersey Area Contingency Plan, a federally-mandated document intended to guide response to a catastrophic oil spill on the Hudson River and in New York Harbor. See CBD’s press release accompanying the notice.

A link to the full notice including all of the CBD’s concerns can be found here.

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