News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Riverkeeper celebrates reversal of U.S. Coast Guard Policy on Hudson River Anchoring

Riverkeeper celebrates reversal of U.S. Coast Guard Policy on Hudson River Anchoring

Following action from Riverkeeper and local elected officials, the U.S. Coast Guard rescinds policy that would have posed significant risk to endangered species and drinking water sources; announces public participation process


OSSINING, NEW YORK – November 13, 2023 – Today Riverkeeper celebrates a milestone in our campaign to protect the Hudson River from the potential harms that would result from any increase in anchoring by large commercial vessels. The Coast Guard, following a letter from Riverkeeper, has reversed an unlawful policy it adopted in July that allowed commercial vessels to anchor virtually anywhere north of Tarrytown.

Riverkeeper’s letter made clear that the change in policy violated several laws, and that we expect strict limits to be maintained on where, and for how long these large vessels are allowed to anchor in the Hudson. As the Coast Guard moves forward with a new public process to evaluate anchoring needs in the Hudson River, Riverkeeper will continue to focus its efforts on protecting the health and safety of the Hudson River to prevent further damage from the anchoring of large commercial vessels.

“Advocates, communities, and government agencies all have significant concerns over the risks that anchored vessels pose to endangered sturgeon, community waterfront plans, and drinking water sources. Riverkeeper will ensure that the public’s concerns are fully considered in any future proposal for new anchoring regulations,” said Drew Gamils, Riverkeeper Staff Attorney. “Riverkeeper is grateful to Congressman Pat Ryan and other elected officials who helped raise the alarm over the Coast Guard’s actions regarding the Port of New York, and we look forward to a full and transparent process with the Coast Guard moving forward.”

“We won this initial victory because our community stood up and fought together. But unfortunately, we know this success is temporary. Now is the time for all of us to double down on our commitment to stop big corporations from turning our Hudson River into a parking lot for dangerous barges,” said Congressman Pat Ryan. “I’m proud to be joined in this effort by County Executives, State Senators, and State Legislators from across the region who know what’s at stake. It’s up to all of us to protect our kids, our drinking water, and our entire ecosystem.”

The Coast Guard’s new rule temporarily restores the geographic scope of the Port of New York to encompass the Hudson River from New York Harbor to Albany, N.Y. This means that north of Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, unless in the midst of a great emergency, vessels are only permitted to anchor in the designated Hyde Park Anchorage Ground.

As the Coast Guard considers changes to its anchoring regulations and policies in the near future, it will be collecting public comments and feedback through a process called a Notice of Inquiry. Riverkeeper is committed to engaging with the public and amplifying their voices during this period, just as we did in 2016 when communities throughout the Hudson Valley united in opposition to a maritime industry request to vastly expand the designated areas in the Hudson River where commercial vessels are allowed to anchor.

At the time, the tug and barge industry was eyeing a surge in crude oil shipments from the Midwest. The public outcry was huge: The Coast Guard received an unprecedented 10,212 comments, overwhelmingly opposed to the tug and barge industry’s request for 43 new berths in 10 locations along the river. In addition, state, county, and municipal governments sent dozens of local resolutions and numerous letters objecting to the proposal.

“Now is the time for anyone and everyone who cares about the Hudson to stay engaged,” adds Gamils.
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Riverkeeper protects and restores the Hudson River, and safeguards drinking water supplies through community partnerships, science and law. Our core programs improve water quality, restore habitat for an abundance of life, and address the impact of climate change on our waterways. Founded in 1966 as the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, Riverkeeper became the model for more than 320 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and helped establish globally-recognized standards for waterway and watershed protection. We continue to work toward the goal of a swimmable, fishable, and drinkable Hudson River for all. Learn more, get updates, and support our work by visiting

Press Contact:
Lauren Daisley
Director of Communications and Marketing, Riverkeeper
[email protected]
(914) 478-4501 x 230

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