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Hudson River Ecosystem Monitoring Program (HREMP)

Current Projects:

Lower Food Web Monitoring RFP (Closed March 2024): The Hudson River Foundation is pleased to announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) to implement a three-year (2024-2026) monitoring survey of the Hudson River’s lower food web. Over the past year, HRF and NYSDEC have worked with scientists and other stakeholders to develop an interim solution to conduct essential monitoring activities in the Hudson River. The 2024-2026 monitoring program includes two primary fisheries surveys, funded separately by DEC: the DEC Beach Seine Survey and the DEC contracted Fall Juvenile Survey. This RFP is to conduct a third: the Interim Lower Food Web survey. Together, these surveys and additional data collection, data analysis, and exploration of new monitoring techniques, will be used to develop the “Next Generation” Hudson River Ecosystem Monitoring Program to be implemented in 2027. The total budget to implement the three-year Interim Lower Food Web Monitoring Survey cannot exceed two million dollars ($2,000,000).

Designing the Next Generation HREMP: HRF, DEC, and the HREMP Panel identified the need for additional data and analysis to design and optimize a future monitoring program – the Next Generation Hudson River Ecosystem Monitoring Program (HREMP). Starting in Spring of 2024, HRF will solicit proposals for the collection of additional data and analysis and the investigation of new monitoring techniques and approaches for understanding key aspects of the Hudson River ecosystem.

Fisheries data analysis: Working with researchers at DEC, Cornell University and Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, HRF will support a Postdoctoral research appointment to analyze existing long-term Huson River data sets and new data collected under the HREMP. These analyses will support decisions about future monitoring of the Hudson River ecosystem and its diverse anadromous and freshwater fisheries.

Analyzing Historical HRBMP Data: HRF, working closely with NYSDEC staff, identified the need for data cleaning, preliminary analysis, and the development of detailed metadata for the historic HRBMP data sets. HRF funded two projects led by Dr. Yong Chen from SBU.

  • Development of comprehensive metadata records to facilitate historical HRBMP data sharing and collaborative research.
  • Evaluating and calibrating Long River Survey data for spatio-temporal consistency and data sharing

A sustained, comprehensive ecological monitoring program of the Hudson River is essential to continue to advance scientific understanding and inform future management decisions. Working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), fisheries scientists, and other stakeholders, the Hudson River Foundation (HRF) is supporting the next phase of Hudson River monitoring.

History of Long-term Monitoring in the Hudson River

Beginning in the 1980s, the utility companies operating on the Hudson River funded annual fish surveys to study how existing and proposed powerplants may entrain early live stages of fish and affect the overall health of the Hudson River ecosystem, creating an important long-term data set and improved understanding of how fish are distributed in the river. The closure and decommissioning of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant ended the utility companies’ support for the more than 40 years of fisheries monitoring. In 2022, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the NYS custodian of the Indian Point Community Fund provided the Hudson River Foundation with $6.5M to work in close collaboration with DEC and other fisheries scientists and stakeholders to initiate a multi-year effort to provide ecological data and analysis that would be the basis of a new Hudson River monitoring program – the HREMP.

The HREMP will build on the historical Hudson River monitoring data sets managed by Stony Brook University, DEC and Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies and fill important data and knowledge gaps to enhance management of the Hudson River fisheries and understanding of the ecosystem they depend upon.

1 Hudson River Ecosystem Monitoring Program (HREMP) Panel: Chris Solomon, Patrick Sullivan, Nina Overgaard Therkildsen, Brian Weidel

Hudson River Foundation