Blogs > Docket > What we found at the shoreline – Hudson River trash data 2017

What we found at the shoreline – Hudson River trash data 2017

EarlFergusonA-600

Earl Ferguon tallying cleanup results at Scenic Hudson Park in Irvington. Photo credit: Kristie Nilsson
View more images on our Flickr site

Earl Ferguon tallying cleanup results at Scenic Hudson Park in Irvington. Photo credit: Kristie Nilsson

The Riverkeeper Sweep, our annual day of service on the Hudson River estuary, attracts more than 1,700 volunteers, who head down to the river for cleanups, invasive species removal, and shoreline restoration. Beginning in 2016, we began working with a handful of Sweep sites to gather comprehensive data based on the Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup Data Card. That year, we teamed up with seven students and community groups across the estuary to collect data at five sites.

In 2017, the data collection initiative expanded to 7 sites, where volunteers once again found a disproportionate amount of foam. Other high ranking debris included cigarette butts and plastic beverage bottles. View our 2016 data for an interesting comparison.

 

Overall, the 2017 Riverkeeper Sweep showed a significant decrease in weight of debris removed in comparison to the number of volunteer projects, which indicates Sweep and other cleanup programs are reducing the amount of trash we find year to year. Each year a growing number of Sweep Leaders return to their project locations in early spring and begin searching for another stretch of shoreline in need of a cleanup.

“Riverkeeper Sweep was a success, but most people wanted more junk to clean up… Many of the participants are regular users of the park and really love their park.”
-Daria Gregg, George’s Island, Montrose

Despite the positive trend, many sites remain in need of cleanups year after year. The Germantown community has been rallying around their stretch of the Hudson River for decades and celebrated their 20th annual river cleanup this spring. Despite two decades of cleanups, the Germantown community continues to remove an unrelenting stream of trash from the Hudson River.

Although cleanups are necessary to reduce the impact of marine debris on the Hudson River, bigger individual, and collective action is needed to stop trash from entering our waterways. Learn more about our work on marine debris and how you can help keep trash out of the Hudson River.

 

Special thanks to our 2017 data collection partners: The Empire Dragon Boat Team, The Mount Academy, The City of Kingston, Eileen Fisher, Dutchess Outreach, and the New Widsor community. Should you be interested in learning more or participating in the comprehensive data collection initiative in 2018, e-mail sweep@riverkeeper.org.

Tell Congress: NY Needs a Robust, Fully Funded EPA
Become a Member