Streams

Studies Find Health of Hudson River is Mixed

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two new studies look at the health of the Hudson River, and have found mixed results. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: Scientists at SUNY-Stony Brook analysed concentrations of methyl mercury in Hudson River fish bellies. They found today's levels are two to three times lower than they were in 1970.

Jeffrey Levinton authored the study, he says it's good news for all life forms.

LEVINTON: It is a barometer of the Hudson River ecosystem because methyl mercury is taken up by many organisms from the water.

REPORTER: A second study, by Riverkeeper and Columbia University looked at concentrations of toxic bacteria resulting from sewage. It found widely varying results at different points along the river. Newtown Creek between Brooklyn and Queens was one bacteria hotspot. So was the water off Piermont, New York.

For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.

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