Hudson River may become anchoring spot for large ships

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Albany Times Union: Will the Hudson River soon become a parking lot for barges and large ships waiting to enter the ports at Albany and Coeymans where offshore wind components are set to be built?

That’s the fear of environmentalists, who say a little-publicized regulatory change by the U.S. Coast Guard last summer potentially opens the way for massive barges and ships, some up to 300 feet long, to anchor, especially in the Kingston and Newburgh areas.

To be sure, no one is saying the entire Hudson River will be a watery version of the Long Island Expressway, with lines of ships up and down the tributary. There are only a few spots where anchoring a large ship or barge is viable — notably the area around Hyde Park, where anchoring is allowed, and spots near Kingston and Newburgh, which are, for now, being reopened up to anchoring.

Amid worries about sturgeon habitat there, and cognizant of the heavy local opposition to anchoring around Kingston and Newburgh almost a decade ago, the Riverkeeper environmental group is urging the Coast Guard to reconsider their rule change or to adopt new regulations to control anchoring along the Hudson.

Riverkeeper attorney Drew Gamils last month wrote to the Coast Guard’s regional office in Boston, urging their Lt. Cmdr. Michelle Villafane to consider looking at regulating anchorage spots along the Hudson north of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

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