The Sweet Swim of Success
Lower Hudson River clean enough for dipping
A dozen-plus locations along the lower Hudson River in New York state are once again fit for taking a dip, thanks to decades of cleanup efforts. Accounts of swimming in the Hudson date back to colonial times, but by the mid-20th century the river was an unholy stew of industrial waste and raw sewage. Cleanup started in the 1960s, and roughly four decades later, a state study has found that much of the Hudson is largely pollutant- and poop-free. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation, which conducted the study, advocates restoring public beaches from the tip-top of Manhattan to just south of Albany. Local governments can apply for state grants to underwrite beach reopenings; some greens hope the state will also directly allocate resources to help communities restore the beaches. Meanwhile, many New Yorkers are finding other ways to dive in, like from their favorite rock on the riverbank. Ah, good news. We’d almost forgotten what it smells like.