When Scott Pruitt takes the reins of the Environmental Protection Agency, we can expect him to dismantle federal environmental protections. Among the protections that he would like to roll back is the recent rule defining the "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act. Repealing this rule would cut the heart out of the Clean Water Act, effectively handing our waters back to big polluters. This should be resisted.
Have you ever wondered what happens when a fish encounters a dam or a culvert? Too often, these structures are barriers to breeding and nursery sites, feeding grounds, and vital genetic mixing. In a warming world, barriers also prevent fish from seeking refuge as stream temperatures change.
Carbon released from terrestrial ecosystems is an important source of organic matter in most streams, lakes and rivers. In the Hudson River there has been a doubling in concentration of dissolved organic carbon over the past 15 years.
Beds of water celery (Vallisneria americana) and other plants are widespread in the Hudson River, and play several important ecological functions. These beds contain a diverse invertebrate community, which may serve as a major source of food to the river's fish.
For three decades, our scientists have been researching the Hudson River ecosystem– from the way shoreline development impacts water quality to how invasive species influence resident plants and animals. As a result, the Hudson is the most scientifically scrutinized river in the world.