For more information:Riverkeeper’s petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service, filed by Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic >Related news >Hudson murder mystery: Who’s killing sturgeon? (LoHud) >Feds reviewing whether Tappan Zee Bridge work is killing sturgeon (LoHud) >Group Petitions to Save a Prehistoric Fish From Modern Construction (NY Times) >
There are very few Atlantic Sturgeon left in the Hudson River. They live in the western Atlantic and return to their birth River to spawn many times during their lives. Juvenile Atlantic sturgeon spend around 5 years in the Estuary before leaving for the ocean. The Hudson is their spawning ground and their nursery.New York State has recorded a 20-fold increase in mortality in the Hudson Estuary – starting at the exact time the Tappan Zee Bridge construction project began in 2012. Sturgeon, specifically the Atlantic sturgeon, are the largest fish in the Hudson. They are an icon of the Hudson. They are the fish on every sign for the Hudson River Estuary.
Take a look at this table:Numbers do not lie.National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is the federal agency responsible for protecting endangered species nationwide, and specifically, sturgeon in the Hudson. Before the Tappan Zee construction started, NMFS assessed the potential impacts of the project and, based on several assumptions, allowed the project to go forward in spite of anticipated deaths of this endangered species. NMFS allowed that the project would kill two shortnose and two Atlantic sturgeon over the entire anticipated five-year duration of the project. And, in addition it restricted the project by stipulating that no adult Atlantic sturgeon could be killed, and no sturgeon would be killed by vessel strike.
NMFS had agreed to “reinitiate consultation” – meaning it will review this dramatic increase in mortality and the conditions at the Tappan Zee construction site which might be contributing.
The Fisheries Service should be made aware that protecting these fish is a priority for those of us in the Hudson Valley who love this river and the life in it. There is a chance that if NMFS appreciates how much we care, they will require additional, meaningful protections for sturgeon at the construction site. Please write a letter to NMFS. You can use the form letter below and add your thoughts.
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• Read the sample letter (below) and edit it as you see fit. Personalized letters have a greater impact!
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Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
20 Secor Road
Ossining, New York 10562
t: 800 21-RIVER