Caleb, I remember the Delaware River when I was a kid. the water was nasty. dark smelly. It's now clear enough to see your feet if standing in 2ft of depth or so.
We had a whale come upriver a couple of years ago. I think the shad runs are becoming quite large again and even trout are being found farther downriver then the catskill and hancock NY areas. Sadly.. All the waters are PCB contaminated and eating the fish in large amounts is not encouraged.
I think it's the river bottom that holds the PCBs and various other chemicals that will be there for centuries even though the water appears clean and the water life, and water fowl have returned.
"The PCB contamination of the Hudson dates back to a 30-year period ending in 1977 during which the General Electric Company (GE) discharged as much as 1.3 million pounds of PCBs directly into the river from their facilities in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, N.Y."
EPA Proposes Comprehensive Plan to Clean Up Hudson River PCBs | EPA History | US EPA
n 1966, Pete Seeger and Toshi Seeger founded Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. This is both an environmental education organization and an actual boat (a sloop) that promotes awareness of the river and its history. Clearwater has gained national recognition for its activism starting in the 1970s to force a clean-up of PCB contamination of the Hudson River caused by industrial manufacturing by General Electric Corporation (GE) and other companies on the river's edge.
GE's Hudson Falls and Fort Edward facilities discharged between 209,000 pounds (95,000 kg) and 1,300,000 pounds (590,000 kg) of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) into the river from 1947 to 1977. In 1976 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) banned all fishing in the Upper Hudson due to health concerns with PCBs. In 1983, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared a 200 mile (322 km) stretch of the river, from Hudson Falls to New York City, to be a Superfund site requiring cleanup. GE began dredging operations to clean up the PCBs on May 15, 2009. In 1980, Consolidated Edison agreed to drop its 17-year fight to build a pumped-storage hydroelectricity facility on Storm King Mountain. This action spurred the Riverkeeper program that grew into a global umbrella organization, the Waterkeeper Alliance.
Hudson River - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia