Blogs > Ecology > Watch, listen, read, explore: Ways to stay close to the Hudson (& each other)

Watch, listen, read, explore: Ways to stay close to the Hudson (& each other)


View more images on our Flickr site

This season, as we’re forced to distance ourselves physically, we want to help you stay close to the Hudson – and each other.

The Hudson is what brings us together and keeps us together. As we continue working collectively to restore the river, the river restores us.

Below is a list of suggestions on ways to deepen your understanding of the Hudson and what it needs from us. We hope it will help you continue to explore the river, enjoy it, learn about it, advocate for it. The first installment is a collection of links for learning, with an emphasis on materials for young people.

What kind of materials would you like to see? What would inspire you or inform you? Please let us know of any recommendations or requests. Check back – We will continue to update this page.


Hudson River Stories: Hope on the Hudson
Explore a series of short films by Jon Bowermaster and Oceans 8 Films, examining the river and the people fighting for it.”During the past six years we’ve produced more than 20 short films focused on both risks to and hopes for the Hudson River Valley,” Bowermaster writes. “When I scroll through the lineup of films I’m mostly attracted to revisiting the ‘Hope on the Hudson’ series, for obvious reasons. Who wouldn’t like a big, healthy, visual injection of HOPE right about now. The film’s subject matters are various, ranging from stories of local agriculture (‘Keeping Carbon,’ ‘Seeds of Hope,’ ‘Growing With the Grain’), the health of the river (‘Source to Sea,’ ‘Undamming the Hudson,’ ‘A Living River’) and some great, local beauty (‘City on the Water,’ ‘Restoring the Clearwater’).” The films below feature the efforts of Riverkeeper and our partners to restore the river.

City on the Water
New York City is truly a water city. Everywhere you go, there are tunnels and bridges delivering you over water, to such a degree some have dubbed the waterways that encircle New York City “the sixth borough.” Waterways like Brooklyn’s Newtown Creek, once thought ruined forever by industrial and manmade pollution are making a comeback. From the Billion Oyster Project to Dragon Boat races on Flushing Bay, from the Gowanus Canal to the Harlem River, there is brand new activity on all of the waterways that surround NYC.

A Living River
From the tiny Glass Eels to the massive 14 foot long Atlantic Sturgeon, a vital web of life defies decades of oppression. Organizations like Riverkeeper and New Yorks Department of Environmental Conservation use lessons learned from the Hudson River’s past as a bustling commercial fishery to its present as a ecosystem in recovery in order to protect its future.

Undamming the Hudson River
A great wildlife migration, unseen by most of us, brings river herring, striped bass, American shad, Atlantic sturgeon and other species into the Hudson every year to renew their populations. Tiny eels drift in from their birthplace, the Sargasso Sea. But here’s the sad truth: almost every population is in decline. Some species are vanishing. In the Hudson Valley, we have an enormous opportunity to help some of our depleted fish species rebound. By removing dams that no longer serve a purpose, we can reopen vital spawning grounds, revive the web of life, and allow nature to heal and flourish.

Source to Sea
On its 315-mile journey from the Adirondacks to the Atlantic Ocean, the Hudson River and the tributaries that feed it give life to our communities. Decades of progress have vastly improved water quality in the Hudson River, but much work remains to achieve the goals of making the river and its tributaries safe for swimming, healthy for wildlife and fit for drinking. Riverkeeper and our thousands of citizen scientists, volunteers and members provide the data and the people power to continue the restoration of the Hudson River.
Source to Sea tells the story of the community scientists who gather water quality data in partnership with Riverkeeper. Every sample is a vote for clean water.

The Mighty Hudson
A pure-cinema odyssey that takes you through the four seasons. Bowermaster writes:
“One year ago (May 4) we were readying for a fun night at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie. The Hudson Valley Philharmonic Symphony was performing two pieces with Hudson Valley roots – ‘Fantasia on an Ostinato’ by John Corigliano and ‘Symphony No. 7, Along the Hudson by Francis Thorne – and our Oceans 8 Films team – Devin Pickering and Chris Rahm – had put together a 40-minute film of beautiful Hudson Valley footage to accompany.
“To celebrate that event we have posted the full video of what we called “The Mighty Hudson” for you to watch… Enjoy!”

EDUCATION: Learn about the Hudson

Hudson River Almanac
The Hudson River Almanac is compiled and edited by Tom Lake and emailed weekly by DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program. To subscribe, use the links on DEC’s Hudson River Almanac or DEC Delivers web pages. Also check out New York State Conservationist magazine.

Cary Institute Teaching Materials
A trove of teaching materials for K-12. A wide variety of materials and lesson plans, everything from algae to zebra mussels. Fascinating visuals showing food webs, native plants, algae types, progression of the tides. Field guides, readings, and detailed lesson plans exploring PCBs, cadmium pollution, climate impacts and more.

Hudson Data Jam
Now in its seventh year, Cary Institute’s Hudson Data Jam Competition challenges students to creatively tell the science stories of the Hudson River watershed. Included are Riverkeeper Sweep and Riverkeeper Water Quality Program data.

DEC Hudson River Lesson Plans
Designed for K-7. Math, science, social studies and English using river research, history and geography.

Virtual River for students, teachers and families
Find videos, lesson plans and presentations about the Hudson from the New York State Water Resources Institute. Learn about fish, turtles and the characteristics of estuaries.

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
NOTE: With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping kids at home, our friends at Clearwater are building up their online resources to provide teachers, parents and kids with ways to experience the organization’s unique form of instruction virtually. Scroll down or visit this YouTube link for a video about how you can help!

Clearwater’s Key to Common Hudson River Fishes

Clearwater’s Online Quiz: Identify a Fish

New-York Historical Society: Hudson Rising Exhibition and Curriculum
Hudson Rising, a 2019 exhibition, examines the evolution of environmental thinking through the lens of the Hudson River. Spanning two centuries of industrial development, activism, and artistic imagination, the curriculum brings together paintings, artifacts, and life stories that illuminate how the Hudson can serve as a case study for the development of American environmentalism.

Hudson River Museum: Museum from Home
A newly launched digital initiative with new content being added each week in the categories of: Art Projects, Science Projects, Awesome Astronomy, Storytime, Teaching Resources, and HRM Collections & Exhibitions. In addition, there will be live-streamed programs including virtual tours with curators, workshops with artists, conversations and Q&A with experts on timely topics, and community-curated exhibitions and playlists.

The Welikia Project
Ever wondered what New York looked like before it was a city? After a decade of research (1999 – 2009), the Mannahatta Project at the Wildlife Conservation Society uncovered the original ecology of Manhattan, one of New York City’s five boroughs. The Welikia Project (2010 – 2013) goes beyond Mannahatta to encompass the entire city, discover its original ecology and compare it to what we have today.

Hudson River Journey
An online journey from New York City to Albany, discovering the region’s past, present and possible future.

Riverkeeper Timeline: An Incomplete History
Click through to explore the story of Riverkeeper’s work for the Hudson, from the 1960s to the present day.

Hudson River Maritime Museum: Rescuing the River
An exhibition on 50 years of environmental activism on the Hudson.

New York State Outdoor Education Association
New York’s professional organization for environmental & outdoor educators has gathered online classes from National Geographic, Learning Lab and other sources.

Newtown Creek Alliance Curriculum
The alliance recently developed a curriculum for educators centering on this waterway that forms the border between Brooklyn and Queens. “With all of the potential young stewards in our communities, we wanted to create learning tools that could bring the Creek into the Classroom and the Classroom out to the Creek.”

Waterfront Alliance
This compilation includes resources from Billion Oyster Project, NJ Sea Grant and +Pool.

Gowanus Canal Conservancy
The Gowanus Blue Schools green infrastructure design curriculum and the STEM Gowanus Curriculum are available. The STEM curriculum,created by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy and the Urban Memory Project, engages students in grades 5-8 with the Gowanus Canal’s complex and fascinating urban ecology.

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
Become a Member