Peekskill Post: Deb Milone, executive director of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, released a statement Friday afternoon on the proposed commercial anchorages in the Hudson River. Her statement is as follows:
“The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce adamantly opposes the proposed Hudson River commercial anchorages from Yonkers to Kingston.
Besides the obvious environmental and safety concerns, the barges would be a visual pollutant to our historic river at a time when we are positioning ourselves as a tourist destination.
The river is an important economic generator for local businesses in the Hudson Valley. Communities with river access and vistas promote the waterfront as a place to take in the breathtaking panoramic views of this majestic waterway. The river also serves as a recreational resource for residents and visitors alike, which fuels the local boating and water sport industries.
The Hudson is the centerpiece of our tourism efforts, and attracts people from all over the world. Those tourist dollars benefit our hospitality, food and beverage industries as well as other businesses that rely on visitors to survive.
In 2012, visitors spent $4.75 billion in the Hudson River Valley, creating over 81,000 direct jobs and generating $318 million in local taxes benefiting small towns as well as larger cities. The Hudson Valley is ranked No. 2 by Lonely Planet in its Top 10 Travel Destinations Worldwide.
Mariners have been navigating the Hudson River for four hundred years without the need for anchor barges. This ill-conceived concept by people who don’t even live here is unfathomable at a time when the Hudson and its shoreline communities are making a comeback.
On behalf of our nearly 500 member businesses: Please consider the economic, environmental, safety and aesthetic impact this will have on our business and residential communities.”