Westchester County officials are teaming together to protest the proposal from the U.S. Coast Guard that could create riverfront anchorage sites for barges that would affect multiple municipalities along the Hudson River.
Since the Coast Guard announced a proposal that would include the installation of 16 anchor berths across 715 acres on the water between Yonkers and Dobbs Ferry, it has come under fire from local, county and state officials.
“The Hudson River offers a unique natural beauty, and these communities tout the proximity to it as an enormous economic asset,” New York Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “These towns have invested millions of dollars to spur economic development along the river under the assumption this beauty would not be infringed upon.
“These anchorages threaten the aesthetic value of the wonderful views the river affords and will obstruct free use of the river for boaters, kayakers, swimmers and others.”
In September, the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a resolution in opposition of the proposal, which was proposed by Minority Legislation Leader John Testa.
“Westchester is the first county to pass a resolution against the plan, and I hope other counties along the Hudson River follow our lead,” he said in a statement. “The resolution should send a strong message to the Coast Guard and federal government that both Republicans and Democrats on the Westchester County Board of Legislators stand in opposition to the proposal to park barges laden with oil up and down he Hudson River just off the waterfronts of our communities.”
Led by Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and Sen. Terrence Murphy, the Hudson Waterfront Alliance has called on local communities to “Ban the Barges and Protect Our Hudson.”
“Our communities have invested too much in the revitalization of the river to allow all our progress to be undone,” Murphy said. “Having unmanned, unlit barges parked on the river creates the potential for navigational, environmental and homeland security hazards that will be detrimental to the ecological health of the river and wildlife, as well as the economic health of our tourism and fishing industries.”