Hudson River Archives - State of the Planet

New York’s Waterways Are Swimming in Plastic Microbeads

Plastic microbeads, common in soap, toothpaste and other consumer products, are flooding waters. A team from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is doing the first large-scale assessment of their impact on New York’s waterways.

by |August 16, 2017
Scientists test the water at Lake Tear of the Clouds, high in the Adirondacks of New York. Their testing at the source of the mighty Hudson River in August 2016 was part of a full-river health check from its headwaters to the ocean. Photo: Andy Juhl/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

How Safe is the Hudson? Scientists Test the River, Adirondacks to Ocean

A team of scientists conducted an unprecedented health check of the entire Hudson River system, from its source to New York Harbor. This is what they found.

by |August 31, 2016

H. James Simpson; Tracked Pollutants in the Hudson and Far Beyond

H. James Simpson, a geochemist who pioneered important studies of water pollutants in the Hudson River and abroad, died May 10. He had been affiliated with Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for 50 years. The cause was Parkinson’s disease, said his family; he was 72.

by |May 26, 2015

Photo Essay: A Day in the Life of the Hudson River

Once a year, Piermont Pier becomes a field station, and local students, a team of environmental investigators. On Tuesday, scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory led students through a series of field experiments designed to teach them more about the Hudson River.

by |October 23, 2014

Seeger’s Legacy Lives on Aboard Sloop Clearwater

In the summer of 1969, legendary folk musician and activist Pete Seeger headed a grassroots campaign to clean up the polluted Hudson River. At the heart of that campaign was a replica of a 200-year-old sailing ship– the sloop Clearwater. Nearly 50 years later, Clearwater remains an emblem of environmental reform. But with Seeger’s death at age 94 this past January, what will become of his cause?

by |May 13, 2014

After Sandy, Testing the Waters

During Hurricane Sandy the seas rose a record 14-feet in lower Manhattan. Water flooded city streets, subways, tunnels and even sewage treatment plants. It is unclear how much sewage may have been released as plants lost power or were forced to divert untreated wastewater into the Hudson River. Four days after Sandy, the environmental group… read more

by |November 19, 2012

Rock Fall Shakes New Jersey Palisades

A 500-foot rock face came crashing down from the Palisades cliffs along the Hudson River in Alpine, N.J. on Saturday night, shaking the ground for more than half a minute and dumping a fresh layer of boulders over a 100-yard strip of parkland below State Line Lookout. The shaking was strong enough to be registered by a seismic station a mile and a half away, at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, but no one was injured.

by |May 16, 2012

Indian Point: Safe, Secure and Vital or an Unacceptable Risk?

The owners of Indian Point nuclear power plant want to re-license the facility for 20 years. Opponents say the plant is unsafe and we can do without its electricity. Supporters say it’s safe, and we need the power.

by |March 5, 2012

Giulio Verne and the Windmills

Like some Quixotic dream, at long last the formerly Dutch island of Manhattan reaches westward for windmills.

by |January 18, 2012

Imagining the Hudson before Humans

Pollution is just one way that humans have transformed the Hudson River. A small way, it turns out. We have altered the Hudson’s shape, the speed of its flow and the mix of plants and trees along its banks. In a new book, Environmental History of the Hudson River, two Lamont-Doherty scientists who contributed chapters—Frank Nitsche and Dorothy Peteet—show what the river looked like before Europeans got here.

by |October 7, 2011