Blogs > Ecology > Stop the Mud: Community comments

Stop the Mud: Community comments

esopus-stopthemud-graphic-4a

View more images on our Flickr site

Members of the public speak out about NYC’s muddy releases from Ashokan Reservoir into Lower Esopus Creek.

Communities and individuals are speaking out against the massive releases of turbid water from New York City’s Ashokan Reservoir into the Lower Esopus Creek. Below is an assortment of commentary drawn from public statements, testimony and municipal resolutions.

To learn more, visit our information page and community toolkit: Riverkeeper.org/stopthemud

Riverkeeper testimony

“DEP failed to take the required hard look at the range of structural alternatives, as identified in the 2013 consent order, to minimize or avoid turbid discharges to the Lower Esopus. This is not a hard look. In fact, it’s hardly any look at all.”
– Paul Gallay, President and Hudson Riverkeeper
Read our full testimony for the March 3, 2021, Public Hearing

“The DEP is kicking the can down the road, ignoring the climate crisis while trying to safeguard its drinking water supply on the backs of the downstream communities.”
Paul Gallay, Riverkeeper statement, May 4, 2021

Municipal resolutions and letters

“The Hudson River is a critical regional drinking water supply, including for the Dutchess County City and Town of Poughkeepsie. Protecting water quality in this drinking water source is an important regional priority.”
– Town of Poughkeespie resolution, March 3, 2021

“The Lower Esopus is an important contributor to the social, economic and environmental quality along the creek’s corridor. It cannot be the solution to NYC’s turbid water problems.”
– Town of Esopus resolution, April 1, 2021

“The Town of Rhinebeck relies on the Hudson River to supply safe and potable drinking water to its thousands of residents … (and has) serious concern about New York City’s discharge of turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir into the lower Esopus Creek, which in turn flows into the Hudson River.”
– Town of Rhinebeck resolution, April 12, 2021

“The Hudson River is a critical regional drinking water supply, including for over 100,000 people in the Mid-Hudson Region. Protecting water quality in this drinking water source is an important regional priority.”
– Village of Rhinebeck resolution, April 13, 2021

“The City of Poughkeepsie relies on the Hudson River to supply safe and potable drinking water to its thousands of residents…(and has) serious concern about New York City!s discharge of turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir into the lower Esopus Creek, which in turn flows into the Hudson River.”
– City of Poughkeepsie resolution, April 19, 2021

“The Town of Hyde Park relies on the Hudson River to supply safe and potable drinking water to its thousands of residents…(and has) serious concern about New York City’s discharge of turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir into the lower Esopus Creek, which in turn flows into the Hudson River.”
– Town of Hyde Park resolution, April 20, 2021

“Solving New York City’s turbidity problem by giving the Hudson 7 a turbidity problem is not a fair solution, and yet that is essentially what would result from accepting the DEIS.”
– Letter to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos from the Hudson River Intermunicipal Council (aka “Hudson 7” – Town of Esopus, Town of Hyde Park, Town of Lloyd, City of Poughkeepsie, Town of Poughkeepsie, Town of Rhinebeck, Village of Rhinebeck)

“We as members of Rondout Rowing Club (RRC) of Kingston, New York are urging the
NYSDEC to exercise its authority to enforce the state and federal laws that protect water quality in evaluating the impacts of NYCDEP releases to the Lower Esopus Creek….Part of the mission of RRC is to foster awareness of the unique natural resources of the Hudson River. Specifically our charge is to advocate for the protection of the environmental and recreational integrity of the Rondout Creek and Hudson River so that succeeding generations of rowers can experience the exhilaration and joy of rowing…Kingston, 10 miles south of Esopus entry to Hudson, is seeing an impact on fish and birdlife. Indeed the Saugerties Seal left its home by the Lighthouse in Saugerties because of a decreased number of fish.”
– Letter to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos from the Rondout Rowing Club

“The potential and actual short-term, long-term and cumulative impacts on the downstream communities along the Esopus Creek and Hudson River must be recognized and thoroughly studied within the DEIS, including impacts on other drinking water systems, the local economy, recreation and the aesthetics of the area.”
– City of Kingston resolution, May 1, 2021

“The Town of Lloyd has serious concern about New York City’s discharge of turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir into the Lower Esopus Creek, which in turn flows into the Hudson River.”
– Town of Lloyd resolution, May 5, 2021

Community comments

“We are acutely aware in Ulster County that for generations, the City of New York has benefited from and depended upon our clean water. Today we are simply asking for accountability. The NYC DEP relies on our resources in Ulster County to supply water for 9 million of their residents. If you are going to use our resources, you should also be held accountable for the impact that you have to our environment and to our communities. I am encouraging all residents concerned about protecting our environment to make their voice heard by June 16th.”
– Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan

“The staggeringly high levels of turbidity in the Lower Esopus Creek pose a direct threat to our quality of life, our tourism economy, our local businesses and recreational activities, and our precious wildlife. The way the system is working is not working, and with severe storms growing in number year over year, sustained turbidity will only get worse for the Esopus Creek and surrounding communities. We need transparency into the actions taken and a good faith effort to bring mitigating solutions to the table. I stand with our watershed communities and local business owners in the call for the Lower Esopus Creek to be restored and protected, as it should be, and urge all Ulster County residents to make their voices heard with public comment by the June 16th deadline.”
– New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey

“Over the years, I’ve put thousands of people out on the Esopus to enjoy its beauty and experience the abundant wildlife. The [impact] of these releases is very real, so I’m more than a little angry and heartbroken about what’s being done to the creek and the wildlife that calls it home.”
– Gail Porter, Owner, I Paddle New York

“New York City’s muddy releases not only impact the Lower Esopus Creek but also the Hudson River estuary where our drinking water supplies come from. This fact has been largely, if not completely, ignored. We demand that the Department of Environmental Conservation hold New York City accountable.”
– Shannon Harris, Supervisor, Town of Esopus, N.Y.

“The Ashokan Reservoir was engineered and built at the outset of the 20th century, and now is the time to update its structures and operations for the challenges of the 21st century. Confronted with climate change, we expect more frequent intense storm events which increase turbidity as well as flood risk in the Esopus Creek watershed. The DEP needs to be compelled to mitigate downstream impacts and explore alternatives that offer greater flexibility to handle extreme storm events. The overarching goal should be developing up-to-date solutions that meet the both needs of the City and the concerns of downstream communities.”
– Patrick Landewe, Saugerties Lighthouse Keeper

 

Riverkeeper webinar


En Español

Hoja informativa: Ashokan Embalse: Pare el lodo

La Voz con Mariel Fiori, 27 de abril de 2021 – Sebastian Pillitteri, Riverkeeper

Don't let New York State give up on New York City waters
Become a Member