Carbon-Neutral Shipping on the Hudson

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Scenic Hudson: These days the Hudson River can feel like a car barrier — something to cross on a bridge or drive alongside. But originally this curving waterway was the region’s superhighway.

A pilot project is nudging the Hudson Valley to return to river transport — in a carbon-neutral way — with sail freight. The captain behind the project, Sam Merrett, is an avid young sailor who has been carefully restoring a 68,000-pound steel schooner called the Apollonia for the last four years.

The Apollonia was scheduled to begin its first cargo runs from upriver to New York City this summer. Although the launch has been pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merrett has teamed up with the Hudson River Maritime Museum in the meantime for the North River Sail. The joint educational sail went up and down the Hudson in June with the museum’s sun-powered Solaris boat. 

Together, the vessels raised awareness of the river’s transportation history — and future potential. Both are pioneering. The Solaris is the first 100 percent solar-powered tour boat to earn U.S. Coast Guard certification, according to the museum.  Read more.

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