River Sweep: Things Your Might Find in the Hudson

April 22nd - 30th is considered Earth Week, and in the Hudson Valley, that means Scenic Hudson's Annual Great River Sweep. Scenic Hudson is a huge environmental organization and land trust, consistently vocal and on the forefront of land use and environmental issues in the Hudson River Valley from Yonkers to Troy. Each year, sweeps all along the river are organized by individuals to clean up sites of their choosing, making small efforts towards the greater goal of a cleaner Hudson River.

This year was my first sweep, and this past Saturday morning I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it was a beautiful day and I was ready for some manual labor. A former botany classmate who now works for the DEC was the organizer, and the rest of the team was made up of Bard College students, about 12 of us in all. Our goal was to clean the cove just north of Blithewood (The Levy Economics Institute) and just south of Buttocks Island. (Yes, that's seriously the name.)

With waders on our legs and trash bags in our hands, we set upon the aforementioned cove, intent on ridding out little corner of the river of litter big and small. The sun was out, and so was the tide, so atop last year's dead reeds, with the mud sucking at our feet like big sloppy kisses from Great Aunt Milred, we gathered up all the debris in sight.

What might you find in a cove on the Hudson?
- Innumerable soda bottles (whose design, shape, and material suggest they span decades)
- Huge drum/barrels, both plastic and metal (there were at least 6 of these)
- Tires
- Softballs
- A door
- A headless plastic Canadian goose decoy
- A frisbee
- Paint cans and oil bottles
- Chunks of foam and stryrofoam
Largest item recovered: a 200 pound tire (it was at least 5 feet high)
Smallest item recovered: one of those plastic tampon applicators.

For me, there is a certain thrill in picking up garbage, like a scavenger hunt. The prize is some sweat on your brow, the knowledge that you've used a Saturday productively, and a perfectly good frisbee.

(Thanks to Adirondack Almanac for reminding me)

Posted by Natalie

1 comment:

joe said...

Did anyone find Henry Hudson?