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The Hudson River is one of the important rivers which flows through New York City in the United States of America.
It originates at Lake Tear, and flows downwards into New York state, being divided into the Upper Hudson River and Lower Hudson River along its journey. It is divided by the Federal dam in Hudson valley.
The Hudson River is of great historical significance as well, as it was once a key route in transporting goods between NY harbor and the Great Lakes through the Erie canal, which greatly helped trade in New York flourish. The Hudson estuary region is rich in biodiversity as well, which makes it a high priority area to protect. Recent pollution in the river at a mass scale has affected its natural wildlife greatly, with calls for strict action being taken to reverse the damage done. To read more about this roaring river, read on!
If you enjoy this article, do check out our other pages on facts about the Mississippi River and Illinois River facts.
The Hudson River officially originates at Henderson lake, however, the actual source of the river is Lake Tear of the clouds in Adirondack Park, which is located at an elevation of 4322 ft (1317 m). The lakes flowing from the source are called Feldspar Brook and the Opalescent River, and they act as feeder rivers for the Hudson. The Hudson starts at a point called Hudson falls, and is joined by the Mohawk River, which is a 149 mi (240 km) long tributary, in Cohoes, New York which is just south of Albany.
Just south of this point of convergence lies the Hudson valley, which contains the Federal dam. This dam divides the Upper Hudson River and Lower Hudson River from each other. This dam is built from Troy to Green island and is also called the Troy dam.
From the city of Troy in New York state, the river begins to widen and flows more rapidly. It continues southward until it flows into the Atlantic Ocean in between Manhattan and the New Jersey palisades, effectively forming the New York harbor.
The length of the river from the Federal dam to the New York harbor, spanning 153 mi (246 km), is quite different from a typical river, rather than being called a tidal estuary. The mixing of saltwater with river water slowly begins in the Hudson estuary, which is considered a valuable ecosystem.
The Hudson river maintains an average depth of between 30-60 ft (9-18 m) throughout its course. However, in some places, it can go as deep as 200 ft (61 m) with its deepest point being 202 ft (62 m) at a point called World's end, which is situated in a gorge near Garrison.
The Hudson River flows through New York state and New Jersey and actually flows through a few of the most populous cities in the world such as New York, Jersey City, Hudson, and Albany. There are numerous bridges built upon the river in these cities to help accommodate traffic, with the most popular of these being the Washington bridge, which connects New York to New Jersey by road. More bridges over the Hudon are the Mid-Hudson bridge, Bear mountain bridge, Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge, and the Castleton-on-Hudson bridge.
The Hudson is divided into two parts - the Upper Hudson and the Lower Hudson. The Lower Hudson River is an estuary and begins at the Federal dam, which is where the Upper Hudson River ends. The Hudson is lined by mountains on either side in New York State, which are known as the Hudson Highlands, with Orange County on the west bank and Putnam County on the east.
The water of the Hudson River flows at approximately 21,900 cubic ft/s (620 cubic m/s). This means that this amount of water usually flows through a specific portion of the river at any given second - now that's fast! It would take approximately 10 hours by boat to span the Hudson River from end to end, covering its 315 mi (507 km).
There is an abundance of wildlife in and around the Hudson River, and the river itself helps to support a great amount of biodiversity and aquatic vegetation. The Hudson estuary is the most important part of the river's journey, where many species thrive.
Zooplankton species are abundantly available in all stages of the river, which help provide nutrition to the many species of aquatic insects and fish living in its waters. The riverbed holds many invertebrates as well, like worms, fly larvae, clams, and other mollusks. Mussels and crustaceans like the Atlantic blue crab, white-fingered mud crab, and sand shrimp are found in the Hudson region as well. They feed off of dead fish and other invertebrates, and aquatic plants, and can be caught quite easily. There were once extensive oyster beds present along the river bed as well, however, these have greatly been reduced through over-harvesting and pollution.
There are around 220 species of fish, out of which 173 are native species, present in the waters of the Hudson River. The most important fish in the Hudson is the striped bass, of which there are an estimated 100 million! The fish breed in the Hudson River estuary during mating season, with the new fish hatching here, and moving out to coastal areas during the early fall. They are important for recreational fishermen, for harvesting as well as helping to maintain the ecological balance in the river.
American eels, also known as glass eels because of their transparent appearance at their young stage, reside in the river throughout their juvenile years. They are the only species in the Hudson that spawn in saltwater and then return to freshwater. Some unique species of fish found in the river which seem to have mutated to adapt to the polluted state of the river are the Atlantic tomcod, Northern pipefish, the lined seahorse, and Northern pufferfish. The hogchoker flatfish are also very common in the Hudson and are used by farmers to feed their livestock at low costs. Though the Atlantic sturgeon is an important fish of the Hudson and was fished for its tasty flesh, it is now off-limits to fish due to rapidly declining populations. There are even sharks present near the saltwater areas, with the sand tiger shark, sandbar shark, dogfish, and greyhound shark being spotted in its waters.
These species are not the only wildlife spotted in and around the river, with many invasive species like seals, crabs, and even whales being reported to visit the Hudson estuary region. Some of these are the zebra mussel, green crab, and Japanese shore crab, all of which have been artificially introduced and have thrived in the Hudson estuary over the years.
However, these species are greatly threatened by the immense amount of pollution the Hudson has to endure which makes it quite a bad river in regards to cleanliness. The dumping of sewage, urban waste, heavy metals, and industrial runoff all have contributed to the Hudson river being quite filthy - so think 10 times before taking a dip in this water body! It is also advised against eating any fish caught in the Hudson, as the high amount of toxic chemicals present in their body can have adverse effects on the human body. Many groups and government projects aim to restore this great river to what it was once and to protect and encourage the growth of important wildlife species occupying the Upper and Lower Hudson river regions.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 57 facts about the Hudson River that will amaze you then why not take a look at Parana River facts, or Fraser River facts.
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