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Hudson River Estuary Program

view of hudson river and mountains
Find out about the web of life in the tidal Hudson and the interconnected initiatives of DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program. Watch Connected: The Hudson River Estuary(leaves DEC website).

Helping People Enjoy, Protect & Revitalize the Hudson River & Its Valley

View the State of the Hudson Report (leaves DEC website).

What is the Hudson River Estuary Program?

The Hudson River Estuary Program helps people enjoy, protect, and revitalize the Hudson River and its valley. Created in 1987 through the Hudson River Estuary Management Act, the program focuses on the tidal Hudson and adjacent watershed from the federal dam at Troy to the Verrazano Narrows in New York City (see map of Hudson River Estuary Program Boundary (PDF).

The Estuary Program is built around six benefits:

  • Clean water
  • Resilient communities
  • Vital estuary ecosystem
  • Estuary fish, wildlife, and habitats
  • Natural scenery
  • Education, river access, recreation, and inspiration
Hudson River Estuary logo of a sturgeon

How does the program work?

The program is guided by an Action Agenda, a conservation and restoration blueprint developed with significant community input. The Hudson River Estuary Program collaborates with many partners including nonprofit organizations, academic and scientific institutions, businesses, local governments, state and federal agencies, and interested citizens. This collaborative approach includes:

  • Grant funding for planning, access, and education projects
  • Research, education, and training
  • Natural resource conservation and protection
  • Restoration projects
  • Community planning assistance

The Hudson River Estuary Management Advisory Committee steers the program, which is built on sound science and principles of ecosystem-based management. The advisory committee includes representatives of the commercial fishing industry, recreational anglers, utility companies, local government, educators, researchers, conservationists and other river users helps engage many representatives of the public in working together toward common goals.

Making A Difference for the Hudson River Estuary

A tidal marsh along the Hudson River

With projects that help manage and restore key species like striped bass and bald eagles, estuary grants have allowed counties, towns and villages in the Hudson River Valley to take ownership of their resources and define the future of their communities while contributing to the overall health and beauty of the region. Cooperation with partners such as the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve is key to the Hudson River Estuary Program's success. Read Making A Difference for the Hudson River Estuary for more information on progress to restore the Hudson River Estuary.

History of the Hudson River Estuary Program

During the 1960s and 70s, public concern for the protection of the Hudson's fisheries led to the passage of the 1979 Hudson River Fisheries Management Act. In 1987, recognizing that conservation of the river's fish, habitats and ecosystem requires a broader, multi-disciplinary approach, the fisheries law was replaced by the Hudson River Estuary Management Act, found in Section 11-0306 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law. This act directed DEC to develop a plan and program for the conservation of the estuary-the tidal portion of the river from the Troy dam south to the Verrazano Narrows - and its associated shorelands.

More about Hudson River Estuary Program: