Tell DEC: Require NYC to #stopthemud in Lower Esopus Creek

#StopTheMud     
New York City is once again dumping millions of gallons a day of turbid water from its Ashokan Reservoir into the Lower Esopus Creek. Urge the DEC to demand better ways to manage this water supply in the face of climate change – and protect communities downstream.

The Esopus Creek is dammed to create the Ashokan Reservoir, one of the most important parts of New York City’s unfiltered drinking water supply, which serves over 9.5 million people in New York City and the Hudson Valley.  Erosion from severe storms – which will become more common as the climate changes – causes excessive turbidity in the reservoir.

One of the ways New York City manages this challenge is to dump high volumes of muddy water from the reservoir into the Lower Esopus Creek, which flows 32 miles to the Hudson River. These high volume, turbid releases have left the Lower Esopus Creek a muddy mess.

This “solution” ​is the least expensive way for the DEP to preserve the quality of NYC drinking water, shifting the costs and consequences onto the farmers, businesses, residents and severely affects water quality, wildlife habitat, recreation, and quality of life on the backs of the downstream communities along the Lower Esopus Creek and the Hudson River estuary.

For almost a decade, Riverkeeper and the affected communities have been demanding a full environmental study to address the very real impacts that are seen and felt by the communities.

Instead, DEP has failed to take the required hard look at the range of structural alternatives to minimize or avoid turbid discharges to the Lower Esopus. 

“That is not a hard look. In fact, it’s hardly any look at all.”  
– Paul Gallay, Riverkeeper President

Some impacts of turbid discharges have not been adequately studied in the DEIS.  Among them are the impacts to drinking water intakes in the Hudson River estuary, which are not mentioned at all. More than 100,000 people rely on drinking water from the Hudson. 

It’s time for the DEP to take its responsibilities below the Ashokan seriously.

Help us call on the Department of Environmental Conservation to make the DEP take the required hard look at the range of structural alternatives to minimize or avoid turbid discharges to the Lower Esopus. 

Let’s demand better ways to manage this water supply in the face of climate change – and protect communities downstream.

Write to Commissioner Seggos and tell him that you are counting on him to protect the Hudson and our communities.

 
Instructions:
  • Read the sample letter (below) and edit it as you see fit. Include an opening statement about why this issue is important to you. Personalized letters have a greater impact!



    If you live in the region, describe the impact of muddy discharges on the creek, the Hudson and the communities along their banks. If you rely on drinking water from the region, describe why a well managed water supply is important to you.

  • Complete the required fields and click “Send Message.”

Recipients

  • Kristen Cady-Poulin, Environmental Analyst, DEC
  • Basil Seggos, Commissioner, DEC

Contact

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Message

NYC must study alternatives to turbid releases into Lower Esopus Creek

Dear [Decision Maker],

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]