Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan today announced a joint commitment to support the important work being done by the Hudson 7, protecting the water quality of the Hudson River and its surrounding watersheds. The Hudson River serves as a primary drinking water source for more than 100,000 residents, and the water’s potability is a vital issue for those communities.
The Hudson River Drinking Water Intermunicipal Council, known as the Hudson 7, is an intermunicipal council made up of seven communities in Dutchess and Ulster counties that rely on the Hudson River as their primary drinking water source for more than 100,000 people. It has long been a priority of the Hudson 7 to hire a coordinator for the council to facilitate its volunteer efforts and technical advisors, organize and empower stakeholder groups, and provide project management on key initiatives. As part of their respective 2022 budget proposals, Dutchess and Ulster counties are committing funding to underwrite the majority of that desired position, supplementing a smaller financial commitment made by all of the municipal members of the Hudson 7.
County Executive Molinaro said, “County Executive Ryan and I agree the volunteer efforts of the Hudson 7 Intermunicipal Council, with the support of Riverkeeper, have helped raise the awareness of decision-makers on the federal, state and local level regarding Hudson River water quality issues. We look to further support and bolster these efforts by committing to fund, in part, a waterway steward in 2022 to assist in coordinating the volunteer efforts of the involved municipalities, their technical advisors and stakeholders, and advance critical Hudson 7 initiatives.”
Both county executives have long shared the Hudson 7’s core belief that maintaining and enhancing water quality in the Hudson River and its tributaries is essential to public health, economic well-being, environmental resources and quality of life for local communities.
County Executive Ryan said, “This year Ulster and Dutchess County are working together to add a critical staff position in 2022 for the Hudson 7. This position, along with the assistance from the State Health and Environmental Conservation departments, will allow us to develop a much-needed Drinking Water Source Protection Plan and ultimately push towards our collective goal of protecting the water quality in the Hudson River and its tributaries.”
Village of Rhinebeck Mayor Gary Bassett and Chairman of the Hudson 7 said, “We thank County Executives Molinaro and Ryan for their continued dedication to preserving the quality of the drinking water for residents who get their water from the Hudson River. Their investment in the Hudson 7 with this much-needed administrator proves their unrivaled passion for this majestic waterway and all it means to residents.”
County Executive Molinaro said, “Our region and the Hudson River continue to face an ever-expanding and diverse list of threats to our vital water quality, and our very future depends on our response. Our success in protecting our quality of life will depend on our ability to continue to work together when facing these regional issues, and I am thankful for the cooperative relationship between Dutchess and Ulster counties. As county executives, Pat and I recognize our counties cannot go it alone on these vital issues – with support of local champions, like the Hudson 7 Intermunicipal Council, Dutchess and Ulster counties, the Hudson River and the region all win.”
Dan Shapley, Interim Hudson Riverkeeper and a technical adviser to the Hudson 7, said, “This commitment by County Executives Molinaro and Ryan is a milestone for the Hudson 7, and will help it in its next critical phase as it develops a comprehensive plan for the protection of the river as a drinking water source. The Council’s work has been transformative in focusing attention on the critical role that the Hudson River plays in the public health of the region.”