[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.]
Surrounded by landmarks of modernity like Co-op City in the Bronx, a sliver of New York’s ancient past remains relatively untouched.
It is one of the city’s last salt marshes, a coastal ecosystem dominated by dense and sturdy stands of plants and grasses that has been trapping and binding sediments from the flow of the tides for thousands of years.
The sediment there tells a story of the past and, according to a new study, offers a dire warning about the future that corresponds with similar research conducted around the world.
The finding that sea levels are now rising faster than at any other time in 15 centuries is consistent with other measurements made in the western North Atlantic. But in revealing the threat to New York City specifically, the study, which was published online in the scientific journal The Holocene this month, also confirms fears that the region is on a course to realize dire projections set for the next few decades. More than $25 billion worth of infrastructure will be under direct threat from flooding through the coming decades, scientists believe, including seven hospitals, 183 hazardous waste sites and the homes of nearly 100,000 people.