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Celebration in Kingston: A community comes together to welcome Riverkeeper


RvK President Paul Gallay, Saugerties Villiage Councilmember Kelly Meyers, and her daughter Anna. Photo courtesy Candice Balmer
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Riverkeeper’s presence in Kingston was celebrated recently with a welcome party hosted by the Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership (LEWP) and the Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM). Since this past May, Riverkeeper has maintained a part-time office housed inside the HRMM in Kingston’s historic Rondout District.

In addition to LEWP, HRMM and Riverkeeper staff, those in attendance at the celebration included many representatives from the Lower Esopus Watershed municipalities including Towns of Saugerties and Ulster and the Village of Saugerties. Also assisting in the regional welcoming event were representatives from Catskill Mountainkeeper, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and the Director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program.

The welcome party was conceived by Kate Mitchell, Executive Director of HRMM, and Mary McNamara, who heads outreach for LEWP, an inter-municipal coalition dedicated to fostering appreciation and stewardship of the Lower Esopus Watershed. “It means a lot to us to have this kind of presence by Riverkeeper in our community. The issues around protecting the water quality of both the New York City Watershed and the Hudson River converge on the Lower Esopus Creek and its confluence with the River. To have an advocate whose office is in the same city where most meetings LEWP is involved with take place shows a serious connection to the issues and also to the people, and that is hugely appreciated.”

“The welcome that LEWP, the Hudson River Maritime Museum and community members have shown us has been truly heartwarming,” said Paul Gallay, President and Hudson Riverkeeper. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with our partners on the ground in the Kingston area in our efforts to protect the drinking water that millions of New Yorkers depend on, 90% of which comes from the west of Hudson reservoir systems.”

Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper Watershed Program Director, added, “Kingston and the surrounding Ulster County communities are very important to us. The Kingston office allows us to be closer to the west of Hudson NYC Watershed and watershed communities, as well as the communities downstream of the watershed and the Ashokan reservoir, all of which Riverkeeper is committed to defending and supporting.”

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