Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Science and Policy

First Advisor

J. Douglass Klein




Hudson River, environmental activism, environmental monitoring, conservation, ecology


Consequences of development have threatened the health of the Hudson River for decades. These have included the prospect of destroying scenic value of the Hudson River Valley with the a hydroelectric power plant on Storm King Mountain, as well as the pollution of the river itself by a variety of industrial sources. Since the 1960s, a long lineage of environmental activism in the Hudson River Valley has emerged to address those issues. The example of the Hudson River supplies an excellent case study of how environmental issues began to be addressed in the later half of the 20th century. I will demonstrate how environmental activism regarding the Hudson River had developed since the 1960s. Research focused primarily on several key environmental organizations —Scenic Hudson Inc., Riverkeeper, and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater —to reveal environmental awareness of a particular time period. Data for the project was gathered from primary sources such as contemporary newspaper articles, archival sources at the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Collection, and the Scenic Hudson Collection. As a result, it was found that environmental activism on the Hudson River very much so reflected the evolution of the greater environmental movement’s transition from scenic to ecological concerns of the Hudson River. The Storm King case marked the beginning of the transition from preservationist to ecological concerns, the Clearwater focused on the education of the ecology of the Hudson, and the Riverkeeper pursued polluters on the basis of this altered ethic. All in all resulting in making the Hudson River one of the most cared about and distinct bodies of water in the nation.