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Hudson River Named America’s Second-Most Endangered River

Hudson River valley panorama
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The Hudson River was named America’s second-most endangered river.

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On Tuesday, the environmental group American Rivers released their 2019 list of “America’s Most Endangered Rivers.”

Since 1984, river conservationists have teamed up with American Rivers to save their local rivers. American Rivers reviews nominations for America’s Most Endangered Rivers from river groups and concerned citizens across the country.

Rivers are selected based upon the following criteria:

  • A major decision (that the public can help influence) in the coming year on the proposed action;
  • The significance of the river to human and natural communities;
  • The magnitude of the threat to the river and associated communities, especially in light of a changing climate

The report highlights ten rivers whose fate will be decided in the coming year, and encourages decision-makers to do the right thing for the rivers and the communities they support, officials say.


The report named the Hudson River as America’s second-most endangered river. Only the Gila River in New Mexico poses more of a threat to wildlife, according to the report.

“We are already feeling the impact of climate change in the Northeast, including storm-surge and sea-level rise and it’s only going to get worse. Director of River Restoration for American Rivers Eileen Shader said. “We have an opportunity on the Hudson to demonstrate how protecting public safety and river health should go hand-in-hand in an era of climate change.”

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The major concern with the Hudson River is storm surge barriers installed after Superstorm Sandy could block the natural flow of fish and other species, officials say. The report calls on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install natural barriers, which according to American Rivers would allow wetlands, barrier islands and oyster reefs to return.

“We have come so far in our fight to restore the Hudson. We see generations of children on our Sloop every day eager to continue this progress. We must not allow a short-sighted decision by the Army Corps to undo all the progress that we’ve made over the past half-century. The Corps’ study has enormous implications for generations into the future. The governments of New York, New Jersey and New York City that are funding the Army Corps of Engineers study must demand a comprehensive approach to coastal flood protection that addresses sea level rise, not just storms,” Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Executive Director Greg Williams said.

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