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From the Winter 2009 Conservationist for Kids

Spotlight on the Hudson

In 2009 New York State is celebrating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage of exploration and discovery of the river that bears his name.

The Hudson is unique among New York's rivers. It stretches from the High Peaks of the Adirondacks all the way to New York Harbor. It is so varied, it is actually two watersheds: the Upper Hudson and the Lower Hudson, with the dividing point between the two sections at Troy.

Hudson River Estuary Sign
Hudson River Estuary

The Lower Hudson is not just a river, it's also an estuary. An estuary is an area where fresh water from a river joins salt water from an ocean. The area of mixing in the Hudson River Estuary sometimes reaches as far inland as Poughkeepsie. The inland edge of the mixing is called the "salt front." Estuaries have very diverse habitats, so they support a huge range of wildlife.

The Hudson River Estuary is an important spawning ground for fish, like the Atlantic sturgeon. The Atlantic sturgeon is the symbol of the Hudson River Estuary.

The Atlantic Ocean's high and low tides raise and lower the Hudson's water levels all the way to Troy.

The Hudson River has been named a National Heritage River.