Primary Source Report-EA

Source 1:


Present Sanitary Condition of New York Harbor and the Degree of Cleanness Which is Necessary and Sufficient for the Water

Online source digitized by Hathi Trust

The main use of this source will be in seeing how the water has changed around the time of this publication. By looking at the water change in 1912 I can create connections between then and now.


Present Sanitary Condition of New York Harbor and the Degree of Cleanness Which is Necessary and Sufficient for the Water written by five individuals who work for the Metropolitan Sewerage Commision of New York expresses the current state of bodies of water around New York and New Jersey. Using empirical data with expert consultants they are able to determine the state of the water and the way it should be remedied. Throughout the paper the writers and experts believe that the water is not clean and should be. The water is very polluted and should be cleaned as people will use it for their own activities.

The waters of New York and New Jersey are fairly slow when it comes to water velocity. The average speed of the water is approximately 1.2 miles per hour. This is low considering that the average speed is 7 miles per hour. A slow water speed means that the sewage in the water is almost stagnant so it has a larger amount of time to infect the area around it. With this infection spreading the wildlife in the water would be unsafe to consume. “The danger of accidental and direct pollution would make the taking of shellfish for food unsafe”. Shellfish being “an extensive industry in Lower New York bay” is a great source of income for many people living in the area. Dangering these species would not only danger the people who consume them but also the jobs and livelihood of the people who capture and sell these fish. “All the experts considered it impracticable to keep the waters in the inner part of New York harbor pure enough for oyster culture”. All experts agreed that with the current conditions it would be impossible for oysters to be made a constant part of the New York scene. Some experts believed “that it might ultimately be necessary to sacrifice all oyster beds” due to the inability of the water to be clean. With practices that include more processing of sewage and eliminating direct pollution the natural oyster beds can come back.

Source 2:


Commissioner Aims to Protect Public Health and Shellfish Industry

Department of Environmental Protection site

Prove that the shellfish industry is massive and any damage done to the environment hurts the workers within it.


The Commissioner of the Department of Environment Protection wanted to stop the cultivation of tainted oysters and other shellfish. This was in order to protect people from any contamination in the water and that can travel to people through the shellfish. With the information that this release will give you can see how important the shellfish industry is to the people living near the water.

With an industry that is worth $790 million a year in just New Jersey one can see that it should be well protected and monitored. With the emergence of pollutants the shellfish become sick and can lead to hurting people who consume them. “If someone gets sick from eating shellfish from contaminated waters, people may stop buying or eating New Jersey products or shellfish from approved waters”. This was in order to not have “contaminated oysters or clams getting into the public food supply” because once they are in the consumers will get sick. Once they get sick the million dollar industry will crumble. The danger doesn’t only come from legal fishing in contaminated areas but also from illegal harvesting. With rules and regulations that need to be followed anyone who isn’t certified can harvest anywhere. Without knowing the regulations the poachers could send contaminated food into the stores and get people sick, causing people to no longer trust the local produce and crashing the industry.

Source 3:


Long-Term Improvements in Water Quality Due to Sewage Abatement in the Lower Hudson River

Part of the Jstor library

This source would be useful in showing the ways that the water has improved


Out of all the sources that are upset with the conditions that the waters are in this one has a different opinion. By looking at the past and comparing it to current statistics these authors are able to show that there are many steps that have been taken in order to build a better water quality. Although pollution is still an issue there are steps being taken in order to fix and remedy the toxins.

With the “increased capture and treatment of municipal sewage” the waters of the Hudson River have been able to clear up. With the biggest pollution problem being sewage from the people of the city an increase in treatment means less direct dumping into the water ways. A boost in cleanliness means a boost in the way of life not only for the people around but also for the flora and fauna of the region. “Efforts have abated 0.19 m3s-1of untreated sewage city-wide” meaning that the increase of treatment has greatly reduced the amount of sewage that is directly flowing into the river. By looking at figure 5 in the article gives the reader an understanding of the drastic change that 23 years of treatment can do. Being the worst possible scenario to some of the cleanest water in less than three decades shows that the people of New York are devoted to the cause of fixing the water. By the end of 1995 the water was good enough to bring back shellfishing and to bring back a whole industry into the economic sphere of New York.


Class, Toxics, Water, Pollution, Business