The Clean Water Act of 1972 transformed New York’s Hudson River from a sewage dumping site into a hospitable environment filled with different species.
Today, the Hudson’s cleaner water has encouraged the recovery of a myriad of species including the American oyster, Alewife, humpback whales, harbor herons, Atlantic Sturgeon, and even the Bald Eagle. Some consider the Clean Water Act to be one of the most transformative environmental laws ever enacted.
In the years leading up to 1972, hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage and industrial pollution were dumped into the Hudson River every single day. Certain parts of the river had little to no oxygen to sustain aquatic life, and health advisories went up to warn people against eating fish from the Hudson. However, 50 years later, the progress of the Clean Water Act is evident.