by Susan Hellauer
Will Nyack or Piermont have a beach again? There are many challenges to consider: river hazards, currents, liability, parking, and operating costs among them. But before any of that, there must be clean, consistently swimmable water, which is a good thing even if no human swims in it. Sewers and wastewater infrastructure must be brought up to high standards. Environmental groups and local elected officials are campaigning hard for state and federal funding for this costly but important project.
Myra Starr and her Sea Mariner friends had no choice but to swim out to their sailboat when their leaky old dinghy went missing in 1947. It was moored off the Grand-View-on-Hudson Town Hall, where an outflow pipe ran down to the river, discharging raw sewage into the Hudson. The girls dove in anyway, quickly getting out to cleaner mid-river water. “We all just took it for granted that sewage, factory waste, everything had to go into the river. Where else was it going to go?”
Sustainable Saturdays, a weekly feature that focuses on conservation, sustainability, recycling and healthy living, is sponsored by Green Meadow Waldorf School, Maria Luisa Boutique and Strawtown Studio.