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"It is the landscape that defined America..."

The Hudson River is a vital artery in the history of the state and city. It's been a source of travel and transport, revolution and democracy, survival and inspiration for Native Americans, Europeans, and Americans for centuries.

In 1997, the Hudson River was declared an American Heritage River, and described by National Park Service officials in a report as “the landscape that defined America.”

Much of the American Revolution took place in the Hudson Valley, as seen at nearby West Point, Washington's headquarters in Newburgh, and the remnants of chains strung across the Hudson by revolutionaries to deter British ships.

Hudson Valley: Source of an environmental landmark

The Mid-Hudson Valley offers Mount students rich study opportunities and a wealthy history of environmental activism and legislation.

In 1962, Con Edison planned to build a hydro-electric plant at Storm King Mountain, the beautiful high ridge that sits at the mouth of the Hudson Highlands. Local activists formed the Scenic Hudson Preservation Coalition around a kitchen table, and brought suit against the utility titan.

The court made a landmark ruling that environmental impact had to be considered in such projects. Congress then passed the National Environmental Policy Act.

The Hudson River: A natural laboratory

The Hudson River is a tidal estuary, meaning it flows in both directions with the rhythms of the ocean tide. The river supports a biologically-rich environment and an important ecosystem for aquatic life. For many key species, it provides critical habitats and essential spawning and breeding grounds.

Today, many local environmental groups have helped to clean the Hudson River by monitoring water quality and fish health, and pursuing legal action against polluters.

In the best traditions of those who set out to clean and protect “America’s First River,” The Mount belongs to the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges & Universities. 

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