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Progress Along the Hudson

​Good Morning Gina,

I am guessing recent news coverage does not fall into the "I don't care what they say as long as they spell my name right" adage category.  We can agree that the growing interest in clean water is a very good thing.  As we would agree that it is really too bad that awareness is sparked by crises rather than careful planning and good public health policy.

But, to our not-so-little piece of these matters, there is good news to share and celebrate!

We inherited what we have.  We have excellent values and lofty goals.  These we temper with realism, acknowledgement of our constraints.  We celebrate progress and press ahead. 


                                                                           Progress Along the Hudson!

Recalling last week's message, where I told you about our plans to host members of the EPA/GE Community Action Group at our farm prior to the quarterly CAG meeting in nearby Schuylerville, well the event was a hit.

We had a great time which would have been richer and more fun if some from the Committee of the Whole had attended.  Will definitely do that next go-round.

Beth and I loved welcoming a houseful of diverse pro-good-Earth advocates. Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, Cleaner Hudson, Clearwater, the Sierra Club, Saratoga PLAN, the Hudson River Fisherman's Association, the Consensus Building Institute, a spouse, a six-month-old, riverside community reps, and our local NYS Assemblywoman gathered for almost 90 minutes to enjoy local farm-to-table food and "pre-Hudson" spring water.

Folks spread out around the house and spilled out into the yard where we arranged umbrella tables.

The chat was wide-ranging.  A legal intern had the opportunity to speak with Carrie Woerner (our Assembly rep).  Gil from the Fisherman's Association debated higher education withe Dave (from Citizens Along the River's Edge and Sport Boating association) and me.  A cross-section also debated the future of the Superfund Program given the state of politics and economy.  It was like a mix of summer light lunch and a college seminar.

                                        Mixing Business with Pleasure

We gathered in our "great room" for a wrap-up.  As I was getting ready to thank everyone, I saw Gil -- a pure photo-op Santa lookalike -- reach out and tickle the bare foot of baby Lillian and say "we want to make this river clean for you and your children!" Everyone laughed --everyone agreed -- and that really summed it up.  Before Carrie reaffirmed her intent to continue to help shepherd good policy through the Assembly, I did take a moment to say the obvious, that we don't corner the market on good values but what this group does particularly well is make advocacy and education the highest priority...because many don't have time or knowledge to be as effective.

As I said at the top of the message Gina, it is advocacy and education that will prevent PFOA and PCB issues from getting to the crisis point going forward.

We have lots of clean-up and remediation to do now, but prevention is so much less-costly... in terms of dollars and health.

After the group decamped to Schuylerville Town Hall we had a very good CAG meeting.  Particular highlights were an impressive presentation by your Marc Greenberg on "fish as a litmus test," showing slow-but-sure progress.  Then Mike Cheplowitz, also from your team, introduced planning for floodplain and "sideline" remediation, which I look forward to helping with.  Eric and Patrick from the Consensus group did their usual great job assuring that tricky combo of "air time" and agenda flow worked in time allotted.

       At "CAG": pressing for a cleaner Hudson, from Lake Tear to the Atlantic!

We inherited what we have.  We have excellent values and lofty goals.  These we temper with realism, acknowledgement of our constraints.  We celebrate progress and press ahead.  

What else can we do... for Lillian's sake?

                        Celebrating a Cleaner Hudson: Keep Up the Good Work!

please visit the blog to see the series!

An ongoing one-sided "conversation" with a resident of the Upper Hudson River and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy 

Dan volunteers sampling the Hudson for Riverkeeper.

Five Porch Farm