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From the August 2009 Conservationist

A view of the Hudson highlands including the Bear Mountain Bridge and a rainbow

Photo: Greg Miller

Hudson River Portraits

The Hudson River through the lens of photographer Greg Miller

By Ned Sullivan

Adapted from The Hudson River: A Great American Treasure by Greg Miller, in Association with Scenic Hudson.

The Hudson's majesty-from its unique natural features to the sublimity of its sunsets-probably has generated more adjectives than any American waterway.

A view of the Hudson and surrounding hills
The Hudson Highlands from Breakneck
Ridge. (Photo: Greg Miller)

Mountain vistas along the Hudson continue to attract tourists from all over the world. Farms that served as the breadbasket of the thirteen colonies, today furnish produce for local farmers' markets as well as Manhattan restaurants. Our woodlands and marshes, which contain an incredibly rich diversity of wildlife, provide homes for many endangered or threatened species. And the Hudson's waters teem with aquatic life, including Atlantic sturgeon whose forebearers swam with the dinosaurs. In other words, this is very much a river with a past and a presence-and a future we must fight to protect.

...the Hudson is actually an estuary, an arm of the sea, its surface raised and lowered by the tide twice a day. Native Americans alluded to these shifts when giving the waterway its first name. They called it Muhheakunnuk, the river that flows both ways.

Looking down Coxsackie creek in morning fog
Coxsackie Creek (Photo: Greg Miller)

Over the centuries, industry and development have taken their toll, but today much of the region's beauty remains intact...Along with Scenic Hudson, other environmental groups and state agencies moved into high gear, achieving remarkable successes. Today, people take great pleasure-and enormous pride-in a rejuvenated Hudson River.

For all who have experienced this river-whether for a day, a year, or a lifetime-it courses through our veins forever, offering object lessons in history and hope, peril and promise.

Greg Miller is a photographer based in the Hudson Valley. He specializes in wide format nature photography. He has photographed for Audubon New York, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Earth River Expeditions, and Hudson Valley magazine.

Ned Sullivan is president of Scenic Hudson.