Sam Pratt & Peter Jung’s urgent message to our Hudson Valley friends and neighbors:
FROM 1998-2005, thousands of you joined us in challenges to the massive threat that St. Lawrence Cement posed to our region. More than just stopping the plant, that victory had a singular benefit. It pointed the way to a healthier, more sustainable, vision for our area’s economy and environment.
At the top of that forward-looking agenda was the restoration and improvement of the Hudson Waterfront, which should be the jewel in the Valley’s crown: a place for all to enjoy.
The stunning ruling issued by the State in 2005 against St. Lawrence Cement included clear, firm instructions or “immediately” rezoning this Waterfront in a greener, more sustainable and more productive direction, without harsh intrusions from heavy industry.
Unfortunately, those hard-won gains are once again at serious risk. Instead of following the State’s instructions to restore Hudson’s famous South Bay, to promote river-based recreation, and support sustainable commerce, this draft plan hands over to St. Lawrence’s parent company Holcim and its subcontractors many of the keys it tried and failed to secure for the cement plant.
That’s why we’re asking you to take action right away, before the March 15th deadline to comment on Hudson’s disappointing and even dangerous draft Waterfront Plan (or “LWRP”).
This current plan would permanently ensconce heavy industry at the Waterfront, right next to public parks and amenities. It encourages the extension of the Holcim dock by 400 feet to accommodate massive barges, the shipping of hundreds of thousands of tons of gravel next to a public park, and the transit of giant dump trucks through the wetlands of South Bay as often as every 4-5 minutes during daylight hours.If allowed to pass as proposed, this plan would also expose future generations to the possibility of having to fight another major industrial polluter like SLC in the years to come—and above all, the two of us don’t want any future residents to have to live through all that anxiety, expense and controversy again.
The victory we all won back in 2005 sent a strong message: The Waterfront should be for the people’s enjoyment, for ecological rebirth, and for sensible economic development. The State already told Hudson leaders that it’s not realistic to expect people to picnic with their families, play sports with their friends, launch kayaks and sailboats, visit riverfront restaurants, or get supplies at marine supply businesseswhile being subjected to the harsh noise, fumes, wakes and other hazards of heavy industrial activity right next door. We can and must do better.
The development of this plan has largely flown under the radar. But it has the potential to steer this immensely valuable and sensitive public resource in the right or wrong direction for the next 30 years or more. We owe it to future generations of residents to take action now, and hope you’ll join us in doing so.
—Sam Pratt & Peter Jung
Go to the Action page to sign petitions, send letters and find out more about how you can help Save the South Bay and ensure that the Hudson Waterfront is developed so as to benefit all the people of our City and Region.