Columbia News Video Forum

Leading Experts Discuss the Future of New York City's Waterways

Leading experts and environmentalists assess the health and vitality of the city's harbor and chief waterway, the Hudson River. The panel discussion was the final event of the New York Conservation Challenge - a series of public forums designed to address some of the tough environmental questions facing New York City residents, businesses and officials, co-sponsored by the New York Conservation Education Fund and the Columbia Earth Institute.

Andrew Willner

Andrew Willner, Executive Director, New York/New Jersey Baykeeper, describes the Hudson estuary system, an assortment of rivers, bays, beaches and harbors that stretch from the lower river to the tip of Sandy Hook, as a celebration of water, people, fish, commerce and nature. He asserts that the vision of what the waterway once was and what it can become depends on advocacy and a shift in regional culture towards environmental democracy.

Real (8:15)Video
Chris Zeppie

Chris Zeppie, Environmental Policy Officer, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, considers developing a consensus in efforts to develop and restore the harbor estuary system and advises that any vision should take into account the risks arising from a large urban population living by the river.

Real (6:24)Video
James Tripp

James Tripp, General Counsel, Environmental Defense, discusses the waterway's history of pollution, which is connected to one of the first industrialized areas in North America, producing for a very long time both industrial pollutants and human sewage.

Real (23:41)Video
Marc Matsil

Marc Matsil, Chief of Natural Resources, New York City Parks Department, describes New York City's natural landscape, which is comprised of a 20,000 acres of federal, state and city properties combined that are largely productive.

Real (25:12)Video
Robin Bell

Robin Bell, Senior Research Scientist and one of Columbia's foremost Hudson River experts who was the first person to map the river since 1930, explains that the framework for managing New York's harbor must be analyzed on a global level, because the harbor is not an isolated feature but part of a bigger system.

Real (8:49)Video

Published: Nov 20, 2001
Last modified:Sep 18, 2002