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The Riverkeeper family gathers to celebrate a milestone year

John and Paul

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Alec Baldwin and Newburgh Councilwoman Karen Mejia are honored at the Fishermen’s Ball.

Our annual celebration, the Fishermen’s Ball, was even more special this year as we celebrated the landmark agreement to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant and New York State’s plan for $2.5 billion in new spending for clean water systems. With us were 500 supporters and representatives of 55 partner organizations, twelve academic and science partners and twelve government agencies. It was the largest gathering of New York environmentalists in years.

Master of Ceremonies, Andy Cohen


Hosted by Emmy Award-winning host, producer, and author Andy Cohen, Wednesday’s Ball honored Alec Baldwin with our “Big Fish” award, as well as Newburgh Councilwoman Karen Mejia with our “Hudson Hero” award.


Mr. Baldwin, a long-time friend of Riverkeeper and high-profile advocate for the environment, was feted for his work to elevate the conversation around the need to close Indian Point and ban fracking. He received his award via video due to his filming schedule.

Newburgh City Councilwoman Karen Mejia

Councilwoman Mejia was honored for her work to assure a safe supply of drinking water to 29,000 Newburgh residents who had been exposed to a toxic chemical leak from a nearby Air National Guard base into the city’s local reservoir.

The event also showcased a new film, “City on the Water” by National Geographic filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, a riveting portrait of the symbiotic relationship between the Hudson River and New York City, and profiles of the courageous people fighting to restore it to greatness.


Grammy Award nominee Grace Potter entertained our guests and stopped the show with an energized set that included her hit “Stars,” “Nothing But Water” (inspired by a river near her Vermont childhood home), and a potent cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.”

Held once again at Chelsea Piers with the Hudson as its backdrop, those in attendance at our annual Gala included legendary photorealist painter Chuck Close, supermodel Heidi Albertsen,  New York Times bestselling author Mark Bittman, fashion designer Eileen Fisher, and New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos.
— Paul Gallay

Photographs: Ann Billingsley

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