WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A proposal to allow massive barges to anchor off the shore of several lower Hudson Valley communities is facing increased backlash from local politicians and organizations as a deadline to comment approaches
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.
With the domestic oil production rapidly on the rise , trade lines have become increasingly valuable. If the proposal is approved, it would include 16 anchor berths for barges spread across 715 acres on the water between Yonkers and the Dobbs Ferry Train Station.
In a statement, Business Council of Westchester President Marsha Gordon blasted the proposal, saying it could “set back economic development gains in communities along the Hudson River that we have worked so hard to achieve in recent years.
“This proposal to locate what amounts to floating parking lots along the riverfront is a slap in the face to communities such as Yonkers, Dobbs Ferry, Peekskill and others that have made substantial gains attracting new businesses, tourism and development to the waterfront in Westchester,” she said. “The Hudson River is a scenic treasure that enriches our communities. We must protect these gains and our river.
Earlier this month, Sen. Terrence Murphy started a petition that has gained rapid support from the community urging all parties involved to turn down the proposal.
“Our communities have invested too much in the revitalization of the river to allow all our progress to be undone,” he added. “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.”
At 11:30 a.m. on Monday at Yonkers City Hall, Mayor Mike Spano will convene local officials to announce the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance, consisting of representatives from every municipality from Yonkers to Peekskill.
Keep following Daily Voice for more information about the proposed barge anchors as it becomes available.