How a Coast Guard move could allow barges to anchor in the Hudson River after all

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Poughkeepsie Journal: Years after Hudson River advocates stopped the expansion of commercial shipping anchorages from the Tappan Zee to Kingston, a recent decision by the U.S. Coast Guard puts that supposed ban in jeopardy.

The Coast Guard basically is reinterpreting which rules cover that stretch of river. The change could alter where and how large vessels anchor along the fragile estuary.

“The consequences are a very big deal,” said John Lipscomb, boat captain and vice president of advocacy for Riverkeeper, the environmental organization that advocates for the Hudson.

If the changes stand, Lipscomb said, except for a few certain areas, “you can anchor any vessel, anywhere for any reason or for any duration.

What’s at stake

A recent boating excursion off Roundout Landing in Kingston underscores some of the concerns with having fuel-laden barges loaded with all sorts of cargo anchoring nearby.

  • Mid-Hudson communities — including Esopus, Lloyd, Hyde Park, town and village of Rhinebeck, and Poughkeepsie town and city — draw drinking water from the Hudson
  • The stretch of river is critical habitat for Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, both endangered species
  • Various communities have invested millions into revitalizing their waterfronts. Any mishap could jeopardize the investment and recreational opportunities.

How change happened

The change was laid out in a July 2023 Marine Safety Information Bulletin.

Read more: Hudson River changes by Coast Guard allows anchorages past Tappan Zee

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