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Watchdog Tip Leads to Sewer Repairs, and a New Hudson River Trail


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The public can enjoy new access to the Hudson River, thanks in part to a Riverkeeper action to stop sewage spills in Beacon – an effort that started with a tip from an anonymous citizen watchdog.

In 2010, Riverkeeper took legal action over raw sewage cascading into Fishkill Creek in Beacon. The discharge came from a manhole at a juncture of two sewage pipes. It befouled Madam Brett Park and bubbled up through slats of an otherwise scenic walkway.

Since then, not only has the sewer problem been repaired but the park is now connected with the Hudson River waterfront by a new trail – one product of a settlement between the City of Beacon and the Attorney General’s office over the sewage spills. The Dave Miller Connector Trail, named for a distinguished resident and supporter of recreational opportunities in Beacon, formally opened with a ribbon-cutting last month.

The city, Scenic Hudson, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council all joined in a celebration over an amenity that will help connect the Hudson River Greenway Trail system with Beacon’s Main Street and waterfront.

Importantly, the city’s agreement with the Attorney General also includes significant investments to improve sewers, and stop overflows from damaging the ecosystem of the Fishkill Creek, a tributary of the Hudson. Beacon was fined $25,000 and required to invest $225,000 toward the trail connecting the park with Denning’s Point and the Klara Sauer Trail on the Hudson side of the train line.

Riverkeeper’s first task is always to protect the river, and we’re happy that the resolution of a case we started can result in both cleaner water, and better public access.

And none of this might have happened without a concerned tipster who saw a problem and reported it to Riverkeeper.

Citizens, thank you for keeping an eye out! Bookmark this page for guidelines on how spot signs of trouble in your community and how to report a problem to Riverkeeper – anonymously, if need be:

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