How 1960s River Activism      Led to New Laws  and Launched the Modern  Environmental Movement              Fran DunwellTh...
1960s activism coincides with     civil rights, women’s rights•Storm King case gave citizens the right tosue to protect th...
Some important background:Revolutionary War battleground
1825-1875: River scenery inspired    a national art movement.                    T. Chambers 1840
1850: Renaming of places to reflect         their meaning: “Butter Hill” becomes “Storm King”
1874: Conservation begins:        Protect Adirondack forests tosave the Hudson = water supply for commerce                ...
Palisades conservation 1900s;  Hudson Highlands 1930s
1961, the fun begins:Pete Seeger sings:“Sailing up my dirty stream,Still I love it, and I’ll keepthe dreamThat one day, th...
1963: Storm King & Breakneck:    power plants proposed   18 year court battle begins
“The best [site] in the world for      … a hydrostation”               Con Edison 1963
Scenic Hudson: “Stop!!! Scenery    grander than the Rhine”                          Francis Augustus Silva  “Alternative s...
October 1965 U.S. Court of Appeals:Directed the Federal Power Commissionto consider impact on natural beauty.Set Precedent...
New problem: industrial wastePCBs, DDT, dioxin, cadmium, mercuryNew court precedents - Hudson RiverFishermen’s Association...
* 1969: Clearwaterlaunched* 1970: sails toWashington for thefirst Earth Day, Seegersings to Congress* 1972: Clean WaterAct...
1973: HRFA argues that     Con Ed fish studies failed to    consider that the HR was tidal1974: Court of Appeals orders fu...
1980: “Peace Treaty on the Hudson”Con Ed : “The utility industry now recognizesits responsibility to supply the electric e...
Events of 1960s lead to new       river policies and programs• 1987 Estuary Mgt Act• 1991 Hudson River Valley  Greenway la...
Estuary Program:Ecosystem approach
Would any of this have happened ifStorm King was still “Butter Hill”?
The Hudson River Estuary ProgramHelping people enjoy, protect and revitalize     the Hudson River and its Valley          ...
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Storm King: Cornerstone of the Environmental Movement

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Frances Dunwell, coordinator, Hudson River Estuary Program/NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and author of The Hudson River Highlands and The Hudson: America’s River, both published by the Columbia University Press,describes the controversy over a 1962 proposal to build a huge power plant at Storm King Mountain in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Known as the Scenic Hudson case, it sparked a 17-year legal battle credited with launching modern environmental activism and setting precedents that require environmental impact statements and allow citizen groups to sue to protect scenery and natural resources.

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Storm King: Cornerstone of the Environmental Movement

  1. 1. How 1960s River Activism Led to New Laws and Launched the Modern Environmental Movement Fran DunwellThe Hudson River Estuary Program, NYSDEC
  2. 2. 1960s activism coincides with civil rights, women’s rights•Storm King case gave citizens the right tosue to protect the environment• Scenic Hudson decision requiredenvironmental review & led to passage ofNational Environmental Policy Act• Clearwater and Riverkeeper set the stagefor the federal 1972 Clean Water Act
  3. 3. Some important background:Revolutionary War battleground
  4. 4. 1825-1875: River scenery inspired a national art movement. T. Chambers 1840
  5. 5. 1850: Renaming of places to reflect their meaning: “Butter Hill” becomes “Storm King”
  6. 6. 1874: Conservation begins: Protect Adirondack forests tosave the Hudson = water supply for commerce (NY Board of Trade)
  7. 7. Palisades conservation 1900s; Hudson Highlands 1930s
  8. 8. 1961, the fun begins:Pete Seeger sings:“Sailing up my dirty stream,Still I love it, and I’ll keepthe dreamThat one day, though maybenot this year,My Hudson River will onceagain run clear”
  9. 9. 1963: Storm King & Breakneck: power plants proposed 18 year court battle begins
  10. 10. “The best [site] in the world for … a hydrostation” Con Edison 1963
  11. 11. Scenic Hudson: “Stop!!! Scenery grander than the Rhine” Francis Augustus Silva “Alternative sources of power have not been assessed”
  12. 12. October 1965 U.S. Court of Appeals:Directed the Federal Power Commissionto consider impact on natural beauty.Set Precedent for environmental review-NEPA (1969).Gave citizen groups “standing” to sue andto represent the public interest in court.Led to NRDC, EDF, Riverkeeper, etc.
  13. 13. New problem: industrial wastePCBs, DDT, dioxin, cadmium, mercuryNew court precedents - Hudson RiverFishermen’s Association, formed in1969, begins suing under 1888 & 1899laws. Wins & collects half the fine!!
  14. 14. * 1969: Clearwaterlaunched* 1970: sails toWashington for thefirst Earth Day, Seegersings to Congress* 1972: Clean WaterAct passed
  15. 15. 1973: HRFA argues that Con Ed fish studies failed to consider that the HR was tidal1974: Court of Appeals orders furtherstudies of striped bass.
  16. 16. 1980: “Peace Treaty on the Hudson”Con Ed : “The utility industry now recognizesits responsibility to supply the electric energyneeded by society in ways that will not undulydamage the natural environment.”
  17. 17. Events of 1960s lead to new river policies and programs• 1987 Estuary Mgt Act• 1991 Hudson River Valley Greenway law• 1996 Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
  18. 18. Estuary Program:Ecosystem approach
  19. 19. Would any of this have happened ifStorm King was still “Butter Hill”?
  20. 20. The Hudson River Estuary ProgramHelping people enjoy, protect and revitalize the Hudson River and its Valley Thank you !! 845-256-3016 www.dec.ny.gov/lands/4929.html

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