YONKERS, N.Y. - Hudson Valley officials and organizations are showing a united front as they fight a proposal that would allow for massive barges to anchor off of the shore of several communities.
On Monday, officials from throughout Westchester County came together to announce the establishment of the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance, where they called on local residents to help “Ban the Barges and Protect Our Hudson” as the time for communities to provide written comment against the proposal inches closer.
Earlier this year, the Coast Guard issued a proposal to establish new anchorage grounds in the Hudson River from Yonkers to Kingston in an effort to improve navigation safety along an extended portion of the area, which currently has no grounds for barges as large as 600-feet to park.
If the proposal is approved, it would include 16 anchor berths for barges to stop and park across 715 acres on the water between Yonkers and the Dobbs Ferry Train Station.
With the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance officially established, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and other Sound Shore officials are encouraging locals to sign a petition to “Ban the Barges” and submit written comment directly to the Coast Guard expressing their misgivings of the proposal.
“This proposition is strictly a financially-driven agenda without concern for the quality of the life of the river communities,” he said.
The much-maligned proposal by the Coast Guard has come under fire since it was announced earlier in the summer.
In a statement, Business Council of Westchester President Marsha Gordon warned that it could “set back economic development gains in communities along the Hudson River that we have worked so hard to protect in recent years.”
“This proposition is the work of the maritime lobby,” Spano added. “None of us are located within the Ports of New York or Albany, but we run the risk of becoming their parking lots. If this parking lot becomes a reality, our quality of life will be irreversibly damaged.”