|Categories:||United States Geography|
The Hudson River is a major river in North America which crisscrosses most of the major towns in America. The river has its source recognized as Lake Tear of the Clouds in the Adirondack Mountains in southwest parts of New Yorks Mount Marcy. It drains at the New York Harbor into the Atlantic Ocean where it ends as an estuary. Along its course, in the river valley, is a major city called Kingston in which Rondout is found. In this essay, the Hudson River being a major physical feature in America will be studied. In addition to this, its impact on the identity of the mentioned regions, Kingston and Rondout will be explored in addition to other regions linked by the river directly and indirectly. In addition to that, the major challenges and problems affecting the river along its course will be explored and the implemented solutions for these challenges discussed.
The Hudson River is a scenic feature that defines the major New York State region. It was named after an Englishman explorer, Henry Hudson in the year 1609. However, the sailor himself referred to the river as the Manhatees. The river was given other different names such as North River or the River of the Prince Mauritius. It was not until 1664 that the name Hudson was adopted as the English tried to justify ownership of the river to the Dutch. The river had been called the Mahicantuck which meant the great waters in constant motion ("The Hudson Estuary: A River That Flows Two Ways - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation"). In other words, the name meant that the river flowed in two ways. The term more appropriately referred to the fact that the river is a tidal estuary which drains into the sea.
The estuary is approximately 153 miles wide merging New York Harbor to Troy with the river stretching around 315 miles between the Battery at the tip of Manhattan and Lake of Tear of the Clouds in the Adirondacks. According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the estuary is highly valuable, both economically and ecologically. It is a home for over 200 fish species: herring, striped bass, bluefish etc. the Hudson River also offers a nursery environment for the fish which migrate into offshore areas and bays such as the Chesapeake Bay, the Long Island Sound and the Delaware Bay ("The Hudson River Estuary | The Nature Conservancy"). Further, other organisms such as the crabs have the water as their habitat. Due to the marshy portions of the river and the mudflats along the river, there exists a diverse range of organisms. Moreover, there are many rare species of birds such as the herons, the bald eagles and many others that depend on the river for sourcing food ("The Hudson Estuary: A River That Flows Two Ways - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation").
Most importantly, river is a major habitat for human beings. It offers food, drinking water, recreational sites, industrial water, transport channel and inspiration to artists. In other words, the river and its estuary are unmatched resources to the economy and to the ecosystem at large. For instance, the river established a good environment for outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, shell-fishing, hiking, trapping, hunting, paddling and boating etc. According to The Nature Conservancy, the regional recreational industry and the tourism industry contribute over $6.1 Billion which is a vital contribution to the regions economy and most of it is attributed to the Hudson River Estuary ("The Hudson River Estuary | The Nature Conservancy").
The river has contributed a lot to the identity of the towns which are located close to its shore which has resulted in a lot of socioeconomic benefits to the regions. For instance, due to its scenic valley features, the river has led to the development of many cruises and hotels for those who wish to explore its attractive sites. The Rondout region and the City of Kingston have benefited a lot from such recreational activities. Tourism is a major revenue generating activity for the two regions. Also, the two regions have benefited economically from the revenue generated by the cruise tours associated with the river. Many key features are located along the river and some of them will be discussed in what follows. Notably, these features have played a key historic and future role in the development and identity of these two regions as shall be seen.
The City of Kingston, briefly looking at its history, dates back in the days that the Dutch arrived in America in 1652. It was initially the capital of New York State in 1777. The City is a hub of many architectural and historical monuments. For instance, the city is the host of the main historical churches such as the Old Dutch Church, the newly restored Hudson Valley Wedding Chapel which dates back to 1867, the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rondout which dates back to 1849, the First Protestant Dutch Church of Kingston dating back to the year 1659 and many others. Since the 19th century the city has developed into a crucial transport channel and was mostly used a lot in the period that natural cement was discovered. Canal and railroads connections were the major transport routes back then ("Welcome to the City of Kingston, NY - Museums & Monuments"). Of interest is the use of canals the canals were situated in the Hudson River as shall be mentioned later in this document. The river was the major route of transport for the cement and the coal required for industrialization and urbanization activities back then. Up to date, the river is still a major means of transport and other uses. The fact that the city is situated along this river indicates how the river has shaped the City of Kingstone to what it has come to be these days.
Considering the location of the City of Kingston within the Hudson Valley region, it is prone to harness much economic and cultural benefits for New York City. To start with, the valley is a whole collection of epic natural features and environmental assets which act as a major attraction site for people from all around the world. The city of Kingston specifically has a frontage of over one mile of Hudson River and this makes it the destination for many ships as it also bears the best ship harbor in the region between the Port of Albany and New York City. These geographical advantages make Kingston a major destination for those who use the Hudson River. Packed with walkable historic districts, a breathtaking waterfront, beautiful business parks and plenty of artistic features monuments, the city benefits a lot from the tourists who access the place through the Hudson River.
The City of Kingston benefits a lot from the Hudson River as it is a major cruise destination for people wishing to explore nature. For those who love their history, the Hudson River Maritime Museum is a perfect destination for them. The Roudout is one of the terminal ports on River Hudson and is a major destination for a historic walking tour. Notably, it is located in the waterfront district established in the 19th century which was initially called the Kingston Landing until the 1820s. Rondout was a separate village from Kingston but was later merged. Initially, Rondout (in the Rondout Creek) was developed when the Delaware and Hudson Canal were established between 1828 and 1898 ("Visit"). It was the main route through which coal was brought into New York and other cities. The terminal was a boom in the 19th century due to the shipbuilding and transport that transpired with major immigrants being Germans and Irish people but later it was deserted as urbanization took root. For this reasons, tourists come to walk through the Rondout District in a bid to view the Hudson canal and the historic architecture within there. This yields big financial benefits to the City of Kingston.
It is good to mention that the Rondout Creek is a tributary river of Hudson River located partly in Ulster County and partly in Sullivan County in New York City. It flows to the Rondout Reservoir which is one of the water supply channels for New York City. The water source also acts as an important recreational, natural resource and also a transport means for the users of the Hudson River. As already mentioned, the Rondout Creek led to the development of the Rondout area which turned into a revenue generating hive in New York and thus in America. Through this area, cement and coal were transported from Pennsylvania and Honesdale through the Delaware and Hudson Canal into New York and other markets. The Rondout was also a primary home for celebrities such as Mary Powell, the Queen of Hudson. However, later in the 19th century after road transport and urbanization dominated people moved out. The area was later joined to Kingston and is one of the historic districts that contributes to the economy of the city of Kingston. Most importantly it is the in this area that the Hudson River Maritime Museum is located. This Museum is of major importance in the economy of the hosting nation as it is a common destination of many Historians.
There exists a broad array of interpretive nature along the Hudson River. This offers a trail tour for the people who visit Kingston. In addition, there is the Rondout Creek, the Pockhockie section of Kingston and the Kingston Lighthouse all of which offer an excellent nature trail tour and are all associated with the Hudson River. In addition to the trail tours, there are other recreational activities such as boating including kayaking trips which constitute an education tour. The boating experiences are carried out along the Hudson River. This is a clear illustration of how much the river has benefited the city of Kingston. It helps generate a lot of revenue for the City and for the nation which helps greatly benefits the city.
As mentioned earlier, the Hudson River is a major recreational center for people from all over the world. It has scenic features such as the Rondout Lighthouse located in Kingston City. The Lighthouse is located at the mouth of Rondout Creek and is a historical structure set out in 1915. The lighthouse was made automatic and functional in the year 1954 after it was made such that it would host a whole family. In 1984, it was leased by the Hudson River Maritime Museum with the Coast Guard whereby the possession was later transferred to the City of Kingston. Though the Lighthouse is currently not accessible for public tours, it has maintained its scenic attraction via the Maritime Museum. One can get a glimpse of the Lighthouse from the Kingston Point Park but not by land ("Welcome to the City of Kingston, NY - Museums & Monuments").
Even though the river has been of great benefit to the regions insofar discussed and many others not mentioned, there has been ecological damages to the river accompanied by the developments ("The Hudson Estuary: A River That Flows Two Ways - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation"). For instance, as the population around the natural rivers resources increased, untreated waste discharge into the river increased. In addition to this waste, chemicals and fertilizers and pesticides were released into the river. This waste and chemicals led to processes such as eutrophication where excessive nutrients heightened vegetation growth. Further, they toxic chemicals intoxicated the organisms which resulted in the death of many organisms. There were also cases of increased bacteria counts which affected the organisms as well as the people using the water too. Industrial cooling water uptake and discharge led to the death of many organisms within the river. Moreover, the release of heated water and the increased bacterial discharge lead to the death of more organisms due to the reduced oxygen levels. Generally speaking, the human activities around the river basin had resu...
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