Kids get up-close look at ecosystems on the Hudson River

October 12, 2017 06:10 PM

ALBANY - Thousands of students were out and about Thursday, all in the name of education. The students from across New York were deployed all along the Hudson River. It was for the 15th annual "Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor." Locally, 4th graders and their teachers from the Albany School District were at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch.

Students were happy to get out of school for part of the day and learn something. They're also literally getting their hands dirty, while doing some experiments in the "real world."

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The scene was being repeated on the shores of the Hudson River all the way down to New York City at more than 85 sites.

Thousands of students -- some wearing waders, got a firsthand look at the wildlife, collecting data and doing their own research on the ecosystems of the river. It's all about exposing them to science. They're also learning about how scientists are working to protect what's being called one of the most polluted rivers in the Northeast.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says the exposure might also help the students to become better stewards of the river in the future.

"I don't want these kids to be my age thinking about the same problems we're dealing with today. This is a river that's been one of the most polluted waterways in North America – the largest Superfund site in the U.S. right now. The EPA-mandated dredging project only got us 60 percent of the way there. We want them to finish the job. We want them to apply the science. The kind of science the kids are applying today should be applied at a much larger scale to direct a much more aggressive cleanup," explained Seggos.

General Electric dumped PCBs in the river. The company spent years cleaning it up.

The Environmental Protection Agency recently said it will take 50 years for the fish in the river to be clean enough for human consumption. Those are some of the issues these kids are learning to avoid in the future.


WNYT Staff

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