From its start as a crystalline stream rushing through magnificent Adirondack scenery to its entrance into New York Harbor as an estuary alive with striped bass, blue crabs, and even seahorses, the Hudson possesses an abundant and diverse array of natural resources.
The DEC manages these resources, and provides information on when you may need a fishing license, where to find boat launches, obtaining permits for dock construction or other alteration of waters or wetlands, and how to report spills, pollution, or poaching.
The Estuary Program
The most familiar part of the Hudson, running from Albany to New York City, is an estuary - a long arm of the sea subject to tides and the upriver press of salty ocean water. The estuary is home to a diverse array of plants and animals that depend on its productive waters for essential activities such as spawning and wintering.
Much of DEC's work on the estuary is coordinated by the Hudson River Estuary Program. The Estuary Program is built on partnerships with many other federal, state, and local programs. The Program works to conserve and restore the Hudson's extraordinary natural heritage, scenery, and mystique. This is done through projects founded in science and carried out in ways that support the Valley's citizens. Specific means of achieving these objectives are detailed in the goals and targets of the Estuary Program's Action Agenda, the latest refinement of the Estuary Action Plan, first released in May 1996. The Agenda is updated approximately every five years.
Experience the Hudson River
Today, the Hudson's waters flow cleaner than they have in decades. Years of hard work by dedicated scientists, government officials, and river-lovers have opened the Hudson's shores to swimming, fishing, and boating. Revitalized public beaches, boat launches, parks, and fishing access sites dot the estuary's shores, and opportunities for outdoor activities abound.
While there is a great deal of information here, these pages are no substitute for the real thing. Subscribe to the Hudson River Almanac, an email publication with weekly descriptions of river observations, and head out to explore the living, breathing Hudson.
Visit a riverfront park, hike a trail along its shore, set off from one of its boat launches, take in the view from a scenic overlook, or cruise its waters on a tour boat. You are likely to agree with nineteenth century writer Nathaniel Parker Willis that the Hudson is indeed one of America's great rivers and "a spot of the earth with soul."