A list of items cleaned out of the Hudson River this year has left us scratching our heads.

If you've ever tried to enjoy the beauty of the Hudson River you know that there's a considerable amount of garbage littering the shoreline.  Riverkeeper has made it their mission to advocate for clean water and to protect the beauty and health of the Hudson River.

Each year volunteers pick up trash at a dozen different shorelines up and down the Hudson River. Riverkeeper keeps a list of the items that are cleaned up, creating a snapshot of the behaviors of people who are polluting the waterways.

Throughout the entire stretch of the Hudson River, plastic bottles are the number one pollutant. Over 1,600 were removed from the area in 2019. However, in the Hudson Valley, another item has become an even bigger problem.

Cleanup sites in the Hudson Valley include the lighthouse park in Esopus, the Rondout Creek in Kingston and Kingston Point Beach. Among these three locations, a total of 370 plastic bottles were recovered. However, at Kingston Point Beach crews found 505 food wrappers found and a whopping 1,194 cigarette butts.


For some reason, Kingston Point Beach has an unusual amount of people dumping food wrappers and cigarettes on the shoreline. In comparison, the next highest amount of cigarette butts was found at Flushing Bay in Queens, but it was less than half the amount discovered in Kingston. In contrast, the Kingston beach had an average amount of plastic bottles, but a larger than usual amount of glass bottles.

The data suggests that there's lots of smoking, drinking and snacking going on at Kingston Point Beach. It's unclear why this area is so much worse than other, more populated cleanup sites, but Riverkeeper says they are committed to keeping the Hudson River clean for future generations to enjoy. An itemized list of trash pulled from the Hudson River is available on Riverkeeper's website.

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