Blogs > Boat Blog > Saying ‘No’ to anchorages: 10,000 comments, 34 resolutions, 1.5 million constituents

Saying ‘No’ to anchorages: 10,000 comments, 34 resolutions, 1.5 million constituents

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If the Coast Guard decides to move forward with a formal proposal for new anchorage grounds on the Hudson River, we will be ready.

Hudson Valley communities from Yonkers to Newburgh to Kingston spoke out with a unified voice in opposition to the maritime industry’s proposal for 43 new berths in 10 locations along the river. During a 6-month comment period held by the Coast Guard as part of its “advance rulemaking” process, the response was unprecedented.

Here are some of the results:

• Over 10,000 comments submitted to the Coast Guard.

• Additional time granted for the public to speak out on the proposal. (Original September 7 deadline extended to December 6, 2016.)

• At least 34 local resolutions passed. (Please alert us if you know of additional resolutions not included on this list.)

• Over 1.5 million constituents represented by letters and resolutions from county and municipal governments.

Critical comments submitted jointly by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of State.

39-page comment letter submitted by Riverkeeper, saying any formal proposal for anchorage grounds in the Hudson must undergo a comprehensive environmental review, including extended comment periods and public hearings in every affected county.

• Petitions circulated by the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance and state Sen. Terrence Murphy, engaging thousands of citizens.

• A compelling mini-documentary, “Anchors Away,” by National Geographic filmmaker Jon Bowermaster as part of his ongoing series, “The Hudson: A River at Risk.”

• Numerous editorials, including The New York Times’ “No Parking on the Hudson” and the more recent editorial with the same headline in the Albany Times Union. For a larger roundup of editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor and articles visit HudsonRiverAnchorages.org and the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance page.

“While aesthetics alone should be enough reason to turn down this proposal, it’s the potential environmental disaster from an oil spill that is even more problematic. The chance of a spill is hardly theoretical; just recall the [December 20, 2012] incident in which a Swedish-owned tanker loaded with 12 million gallons of crude oil ran aground shortly after leaving the Port of Albany. The vessel’s outer hull was gashed, but fortunately oil did not leak because the inner hull remained intact. Months later, a report on the accident revealed it took authorities hours to determine whether oil had escaped.

“Cleaning up from such a disaster would be challenging, at best. In a tidal river like the Hudson, booms are of limited value in containing a spill. Oil can travel several miles in a few hours. In the sensitive Hudson, where fish and waterfowl flourish, a major spill would likely be an environmental catastrophe.”

– Albany Times Union, “No parking on the Hudson,” December 13, 2016

For more information, visit Riverkeeper’s information hub on Hudson River Anchorages.

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