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Think Green With These Earth Day Facts and Statistics

Adobe Stock | Photo by lovelyday12

We break down the numbers behind the conservation efforts in the Hudson Valley, how to protect the river, and the greatest threats to nature in the region.

Earth Day is right around the corner, which means the Hudson River is on our minds now more than ever.

In New York, biodiversity includes all of the different animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and microorganisms living in the state. While the exact number of species in the Empire Region is unknown, it includes tens of thousands of plants and animals, many of which are dependent on the Hudson River Estuary.

Read up on the Hudson Valley’s eco-footprint, by the numbers:

Our region, which comprises only 13.5 percent of the land area of the entire state, contains nearly 85 percent of the bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species found in New York State.

Over 50 percent of the state’s population resides in the corridor bordering the estuary from Albany to New York City.

To date, over 250 projects in NYS have been funded by Return a Gift to Wildlife, a contribution made through tax returns.

A total of 6.6 tons of trash, including 1,880 pounds of recycling, large debris, scrap metal, shopping carts, 50-gallon barrels, plywood, tires, and ropes, were removed from the Hudson River Estuary with the help of 1,100 volunteers at the 9th annual Riverkeeper Sweep in 2020. A sum of 399 trees and other native plants were also planted or maintained during the event.


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By 2017, the Estuary Program helped create and cultivate 15 tributary watershed groups. Eighteen watershed characterizations or plans have been developed, or are underway, on Hudson River tributaries.

Over two billion gallons of sewage were poured into the Hudson River in 2018.

Biodegradable fishing line only takes five years to break down. Monofilament lines take 500!

One billion river creatures will be spared annually with the impending closure of Indian Point 2021 (a prompt and safe decommissioning was ensured by a recent agreement).

A total of 2,400 acres of the Hudson River have been saved due to opposition to new anchorages.

Views like this are exactly why our hearts will forever be in the Hudson Valley. â € â € Reposting @newyorktrails:â € â € The view from Breakneck Ridge. Argueably one of the busiest trails in NY; don’t do this one for seclusion, do it for the amazing views and fun rock scrambling. It’s a much more enjoyable experience in my opinion if you can go early midweek. Also, know what you’re getting into with this one!â € *â € *â € *â € #neverstopexploring #scenic #hiking #ourwild #wearethewild #outdoorsnewyork #newyorkexplored #scenicnewyork #naturalnewyork #ispyny #wildernessculture #stayandwander #exploremore #seekthetrails #iloveny #nysdec #upperrightusa #upstateclub #ny #newyorkonly #exploreny #natureny #goatworthy #llbeancontest18 #beanoutsider #hudsonvalley #hudsonhighlands #coldspring #beacon #hvmag

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PLOS One estimates that global waters contain over 5 trillion particles of plastic, translating to over 250,000 tons.

On March 29, Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed a ban on most plastic bags statewide. Similar models have been proven to decrease plastic bag consumption from 60 to 90 percent.

Over 800 plastic bottles were collected from the Hudson River in the 2018 Riverkeeper Sweep alone.

The Billion Oyster Project, a program based on Governors Island, is working to bring 100 of those 220,000 acres of oyster beds back, along with one billion oysters by 2035

In 2015, the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Sea report named cigarette and cigarette filters, food wrappers, and plastic water bottles to be the top 3 most common items found in U.S. waters.

Related: How to Live an Eco-Friendly Hudson Valley Lifestyle This Year