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Honoring our foundation in science


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The Bob BoyleAt this time, I have the honor of serving as the Hudson Riverkeeper, leading a team of 30 dedicated environmental experts who have the trust of our community and decision makers across New York State and beyond. We have earned that trust by remaining true to the integrity of our founder, Bob Boyle, basing our work in science, law, and advocacy.

Robert H. Boyle (1928 – 2017), was a preeminent investigative journalist, avid outdoorsman, visionary environmental activist and the author of several books including the landmark “The Hudson River: A Natural and Unnatural History.” Over the course of his storied career fighting for a healthy Hudson River, Boyle discovered the PCB contamination of the striped bass population, helped negotiate the settlement in the historic Storm King case, led the fight to stop the Westway highway project, and brought dozens of polluters to justice.

Just this month, we christened a new boat in Bob’s name. The Bob Boyle is a refurbished 25’ Parker dedicated to expanding the science work Riverkeeper conducts on the Hudson. This addition to Riverkeeper’s boat fleet will increase Riverkeeper’s capacity to monitor water quality and serve as the eyes and ears of the river.

May seeing the Bob Boyle on the river remind us of the integrity and incredible impact of the visionary advocate she’s named after.

In recent months, Riverkeeper has received a large number of inquiries about another former member of our team. I’d like to offer clarity on the timeline and nature of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s involvement with Riverkeeper. In 1984, Kennedy Jr. joined Riverkeeper, which was called Hudson Riverkeeper Fund at that time. During his time at the organization, Mr. Kennedy served on staff as Chief Prosecuting Attorney and from 2000 until he left the organization in 2017, he served on our Board of Directors. We thank him for his contributions.

In the seven years since Mr. Kennedy left, Riverkeeper’s accomplishments have included blocking the discharge of radioactive waste into the river from the shuttered Indian Point nuclear power plant, starting a dam removal movement in the Hudson Valley, initiating the cleanup of “forever chemicals” in New York’s drinking water supplies, and bringing successful legal actions against polluters, among other victories too numerous to list.

Riverkeeper is engaged in driving complex systemic and local solutions that can only be achieved through teamwork and collaboration with waterfront communities and key partners. Since 1966, our environmental victories have been based on the hard work of our entire team, and though the problems we solve are and always have been larger than any one individual, the integrity and scientific rigor of our founder, Bob Boyle, remains our foundation.

The challenges facing all of us in 2024 only deepen Riverkeeper’s commitment to restoring the Hudson from source to sea, and protecting drinking water sources for more than 9.5 million New York residents.

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