The new Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project is supposed to be "history in the making," but it could also go down in history as an environmental disaster and spell disaster for the endangered Atlantic sturgeon and the shortnose sturgeon. According to a press release by the environmental nonprofit Riverkeeper, New York State Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors LLC have had years (since 2012) to comply with the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act, but they have not.
The state and private construction company's negligence has resulted in more than the 4 allotted sturgeon mortalities and the resuspension of polluted sediment. From 2012 to 2015, there have been 122 sturgeon mortalities, and 56 of those are believed to be from unlawful vessel strikes that are not permitted. But project boats routinely run faster than 6 knots, and the large, slow-moving sturgeon can't outswim them. The resuspension of polluted sediment is disrupting the sturgeon's food chain and releasing more contaminants in the river that compromise the river's health.
How many more sturgeon have to die and how much more of sturgeon habitat needs to be compromised? The New York State Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors LLC have had years to clean up their act. Sign and share this petition demanding that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the federal agency responsible for protecting the Hudson's sturgeon, force the state and private construction company to comply with the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act now.
Photo Credit: Virginia State Parks