Photo: Kayaking on the Hudson River, Leah Rae / Riverkeeper
When we turn on the tap, we trust that the water flowing from it is safe. In 2016, the City of Newburgh faced a drinking water crisis after discovering a toxic chemical in its primary reservoir. For years, and possibly decades, 29,000 people were exposed.
Riverkeeper was there to assist.
In collaboration with Newburgh residents, we advocated for a full and fair health response starting with free blood testing. We pressed for an investigation and cleanup of the source of contamination, and the state has moved aggressively. Riverkeeper also made the case for a comprehensive source water protection program to improve Newburgh’s drinking water for the future. We are now working to make sure that program is comprehensive -- a model for other communities around the state.
Newburgh is not unique for having a poorly protected drinking water supply. It’s just unique in suffering the consequences. The shocking fact is that many watersheds we rely on for drinking water in New York State are vulnerable. That is why it is imperative that we make a long-term commitment to protecting the rivers, streams and wetlands that we rely on for drinking water, and that we restore watersheds that have been degraded. That includes the Hudson River, on which over 100,000 people in the mid-Hudson region rely for drinking water.
The need for investments in water infrastructure is estimated at $80 billion or more statewide, and Riverkeeper has advocated for annual investments of $800 million. The additional need for investments in projects to protect drinking water at its source is also significant, but unknown.
YOU CAN HELP US prevent water pollution and protect the rivers and streams we rely on for drinking water by taking immediate action:
• Read the sample letter (below) and edit it as you see fit. Personalized letters have a greater impact!
• Complete the required fields and click “Send Message.”
Dear: [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
20 Secor Road
Ossining, New York 10562
t: 800 21-RIVER