Category Archives: General Posting

Report from our 9th Annual HRRP Clean Up

HRRP had another productive and lively day, this past Sunday, with its 9th Annual Clean Up of the Hutchinson River & Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary.

Clean Up Crew from the Boys & Girls Club of Mt. Vernon, NY

Volunteers came from as far away as Brooklyn and Connecticut. We were joined once again this year by an enthusiastic group from the Boys & Girls Club of Mt. Vernon. They’ve been participating for the past three years now.

And, for the first time, a group of students from the Environmental Studies Program of SUNY Purchase, led by faculty advisor, Gareth Hougham, came down to volunteer, fresh from a beach clean up earlier in September.

SUNY Purchase Environmental Studies students with faculty advisor, Gareth Hougham

One gentleman who was just out for a walk decided to take a break and pitch in for a while.

As usual, quite a few bags of trash, recyclables, and larger pieces of discarded junk of various kinds were collected. One volunteer found two perfectly good baseballs. Inventories of what we collected will be sent to the American Littoral Society and Ocean Conservancy for their annual reports. The inventories will be posted to our website.

We want to thank everyone who helped organize and staff the event, with a special thanks to all our friends and neighbors who put in their time, commitment, and elbow grease to help us protect and preserve this important and unique ecosystem in our own backyard.

Here are some pics:

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9th Annual HRRP Pell Sanctuary Clean Up

The Hutchinson River Restoration project will be holding our 9th Annual Clean Up of the Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary in Pelham Bay Park on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 from 9 AM — 3 PM.

The Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest salt marsh ecosystem in the Bronx and the second largest in NYC (the salt marsh in Jamaica Bay Park in Queens is the largest).

This annual event is a great way to:

  • learn about an important and crucial ecosystem right in our own backyard,
  • gather with friends and neighbors to support our community,
  • do your part in protecting the environment,
  • feel a sense of accomplishment and pride,
  • and have some good, clean(up) fun

Volunteers will assemble on the southwest corner of City Island Rd. and Shore Rd., Bronx, NY (across from the Pelham Bit Stables). The BX29 bus stops right there. Gloves, waterproof shoe coverings, and light refreshments will be provided.

Parking will be available in the Turtle Cove Driving Range parking area on City Island Rd.
For more information, call 718.885.9653
“Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HutchinsonRRP
Follow us on Twitter: @Hutchinsonriver
Hashtag: #RestoreTheHutch
This project is supported by American Rivers, the American Littoral Society, and the Urban Park Rangers.

About Salt Marshes and the Thomas Pell Sanctuary*:

“Salt marshes play a critical role in the support of human life, acting as natural filtration systems by trapping pollutants that would otherwise contaminate our bays and oceans. Salt marshes have the ability to absorb fertilizers, improve water quality, and reduce erosion. They are also among the richest wildlife habitats.”

“The Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary and the Hunter Island Marine Zoology and Geology Sanctuary in the northeast Bronx consist of a total of 489 acres of marshes and forests within Pelham Bay Park. The City began landfill operations near this area on Tallapoosa Point in Pelham Bay Park in 1963. Plans to expand the landfills in Pelham Bay Park in 1966, which would have created the City’s second-largest refuse disposal site next to Fresh Kills in Staten Island, were met with widespread community opposition led by Councilmember Mario Merola, later Bronx District Attorney. This struggle resulted in the creation of the sanctuaries by a local law, signed by Mayor John V. Lindsay on October 11, 1967.”

“The Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary makes up the westerly part of Pelham Bay Park (2,764 acres). Included within its bounds are Goose Creek Marsh and the saltwater wetlands adjoining the Hutchinson River as well as Goose Island, Split Rock, and the oak-hickory forests bordering the Split Rock Golf Course. The area is home to a variety of wildlife including raccoon, egrets, hawks, and the occasional ibis or coyote. The Sanctuary is named for Thomas Pell, the first European to control the land. Pell signed a treaty with the Siwanoy, the Native American tribe that previously occupied this area, in 1654, marking the first time a Briton owned significant property near Dutch New Amsterdam.”

*courtesy of the NYC Parks Dept.

Hutchinson River, Bronx

Sergey Kadinsky is the author of the book “Hidden Waters of New York City” and the companion “Hidden Waters blog.” This section on the Hutch gives a detailed account of the history, geography, and current state of the river. Kadinsky will be giving a lecture on the Hutch and other Northeast Bronx waters this Sunday, Apr. 2 at 2pm at the Bartow-Pell Mansion on Shore Road.

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About the author: “Sergey Kadinsky is an analyst at the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and an adjunct professor of history at Touro College.

He is a licensed tour guide who paid his way through college atop the double-decker Gray Line buses.

Kadinsky is a contributor to Forgotten New York, a local history website. His articles on the city’s history appeared in New York Post, New York Daily News, and Queens Chronicle, among other publications.”

Hidden Waters blog

At the city’s extreme northeast is Pelham Bay Park, a vast greensward that is three times the size of Central Park. One could not feel more distant from the city when visiting the park’s destinations: Orchard Beach, Bartow-Pell Mansion, Split Rock Golf Course, and the trails of Hunter Island and Twin Islands. On the inland side of the park is the Hutchinson River, known to most New Yorkers as the namesake of the parkway that follows its course.

hutch pkwy 2.JPG

The river has a history relating to the conflict among Puritan colonists in New England that led to the English annexation of New Netherlands.

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Scientists Glimpse New York’s Perilous Path in an Ancient Patch of Marsh

[The Hutchinson River ecosystem, which includes one of the last remaining salt marshes in NYC, has recently come to the notice, interest and scrutiny of scientists and water advocacy groups for various studies, testing and monitoring. HRRP is very pleased that the Hutch is finally getting the attention it deserves.  Our hope is that this attention will lead to greater efforts in cleaning up and restoring the river. Our work has taken on even more significance now. At our January Board meeting, we discussed the possibility of HRRP taking on a larger role by assisting in some of these efforts. We’ll let you know what happens.]


In Pelham Bay in the Bronx, an ancient salt marsh has provided a unique laboratory to study historic sea levels and perhaps see what lies ahead. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Cleanup Follow up

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We hope you all had an exciting, enjoyable and worthwhile day at our 7th Annual Hutch Cleanup. We’ll be submitting reports to the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy which sponsor and monitor these cleanups. The reports will be uploaded to the Documents section of the website for you to review.

We’d also like this year’s participants to report back to us as well. We’ve created a form on the website where you can give us your feedback about the event, for example, what site  you went to; the strangest / most unexpected thing you found; what you learned; suggestions and ideas for improving the event; or any other comments you want to make.

Go to our  “2016 Cleanup Participant Survey” page to fill out and submit the form. (your personal information will not be seen on the site). Or you may comment in the “Leave a Reply” box  at the bottom of the page.

Our thanks to everyone who helped out today. You are making a difference. Hope to see you at next year’s cleanup.

2015 Cleanup Results: Reports and Inventories

wp cleanup pic 2015The annual HRRP Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary Shoreline Cleanup is not only a fun and rewarding event for the people who participate (thanks again to all who did this year) but it also serves an important purpose in documenting the efforts and progress being made in restoring our waterways  by monitoring and tracking the debris and trash we collect. HRRP works in conjunction with the American Littoral Society and the Ocean Conservancy — just two of the many environmental groups advocating for our waterways — in organizing these cleanups. Part of that job is submitting surveys to both groups, with a record of the number of people who attended, and the amount and types of debris we’ve collected. The finished surveys are shown below and can also be found on our website: www.hutchinsonriverrestorationproject.org.

Here are some of the highlights (a complete breakdown of the items collected can be seen on the report):

  • Number of people who participated this year: 51 adults / 16 children
  • Number of trash bags filled: 82
  • Distance covered: 2.5 miles
  • Most unusual item(s) collected: 2 swimming pools

One participant found a fully intact horseshoe crab shell:

0920151359

If you’d like more information, would like to volunteer with HRRP, or would like to subscribe to our email list, contact us at hutchinsonriver@gmail.com.


American Littoral Society NYS Beach Cleanup Report
(click image to enlarge) 2015_als_report


Ocean Conservancy Ocean Trash Data Form
(click images to enlarge)

2015_OC _report_1 2015_OC _report_2

Our Water Quality Monitoring Results for July

Water Quality Monitoring Results for July for the LI Sound from Greenwich CT to Pelham NY.

Green Cities Blue Waters

Our staff and volunteers have tested 51 sites in Westchester County and Greenwich for water-borne bacteria. Here’s what they found.

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2014 Clean Up Trash Inventory

This is an inventory of all the trash and debris that was collected by our volunteers at the 5th Annual Thomas Pell Sanctuary Shoreline Clean Up. This represents just a fraction of the debris that still pollutes the Hutchinson River and surroundings. We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.

trash inventory