Hoboken, NJ., November 7, 2016 — The North Hudson Sewerage Authority (NHSA) announced today that it will implement a program, entitled Preventing Aquatic Trash (PAT), that is designed to reduce the volume of plastics from entering the Hudson River. The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission sponsors the program and provided NHSA with a $48,125.00 grant to undertake the project.
As part of the PAT project, NHSA will retrofit 250 catch basins with grates in high use, high trash areas, such as busy commercial areas and park vicinities. The new grates will prevent plastics and other trash from infiltrating the sewer system and ultimately polluting the Hudson River. The program will include data collection and assessment of effectiveness.
A February 2016 study of plastic pollution in the waterways of New York City and northern New Jersey found, that at any given time, an estimated 165 million plastic particles are floating in the estuaries that stretch from the Tappan Zee Bridge, along the lower Hudson River, south to Sandy Hook Bay in New Jersey. That is more than 256,000 particles per square kilometer.
“Plastic pollution often goes unnoticed because water bottles, plastic bags and other large pieces quickly break down,” said NHSA Executive Director Dr. Richard Wolff. “The study found that 85 percent of particles were five millimeters or smaller, about the size of a grain of rice. We are pleased to be doing our part to reduce plastic pollution of the Hudson.”
The retrofits will begin in June 2017 and will be completed by August 2017.