Yesterday, I had a wonderful interview with the president of Riverkeeper, a non profit organization protecting the Hudson River and the drinking water of 9 million New Yorker’s! Paul leads the team in finding where and how the River is being polluted, and then goes after them in court and through negotiations to remedy the problem and hold the person, company or government accountable. In the city of Newburgh, Riverkeeper was instrumental in discovering the contamination of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) in Lake Washington, the city’s primary reservoir, prompting the city manager to declare a state of emergency, back in May 2016. They found that the contamination had been leaking into the lake for over 20 years, and was coming from the Stewart Air National Guard Base.
Riverkeeper was also involved in the landmark decision to close Indian Point! Yay! As Paul said, “This agreement provides what we’ve been fighting for for decades: a definite early closing date for Indian Point — our biggest existential threat in the region. It’s a win for the safety of our communities, a win for the Hudson River and all the rich variety of life within it, and a win for a clean, sustainable energy future. Riverkeeper is thrilled that the Governor stepped up to get this deal done — just like he promised he would.”
Riverkeeper is always looking for volunteers, so if you are interested in helping, reach out to them! On May 6th, they’ll be hosting their Annual Riverkeeper Sweep and they are looking for community members across NYC and the Hudson Valley to help coordinate local cleanups, tree plantings, and park maintenance projects, or just join in!
If you missed our interview, you can listen to it here!