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The River Sanctuaryalso known as the Hudson River Park Estuarine Sanctuaryis the heart and soul of Hudson River Park. In fact, Hudson River Park would never have come into existence had New York State and New York City not committed to recognize its approximately 400 in-water acres as a natural resource of extraordinary importance.

The Estuarine Sanctuary provides critical habitat to over 85 species of fish, including seahorses, eels and striped bass, and is a vital migration corridor for birds and other wildlife. This thriving urban estuary ecosystem is tidally influenced, resulting in a mixture of salt and fresh water that creates a dynamic, nutrient-rich environment with high biodiversity.

Beyond creating accessboth physical and visualto this invaluable natural resource, other core aspects of the Park’s mission are to promote environmental stewardship and to enhance Sanctuary habitat.

pile fields at the Hudson River

Over the past 20 years, Hudson River Park has been educating visitors of all ages about the River. Through the Park’s many free and low-cost programs, visitors can experience the Sanctuary as a living laboratory and classroom for discovering the abundance of nature that is right here in New York City’s backyard.

Hudson River Park also directly conducts research and supports scientific partners in conducting environmental monitoring to increase understanding of the Sanctuary’s ecological, biological, physical and chemical conditions and relationships. This research produces publicly accessible data sets and informs management decisions to protect and restore the River Sanctuary for generations to come.

Park staff are also working on several projects that will enhance habitat for oysters, other shellfish and finfish, including at the Gansevoort Peninsula, Pier 26 and other locations. In planning such projects, the Trust benefits from a Technical Advisory Committee advising the Trust on an upcoming Action Agenda for its Estuarine Sanctuary Management Plan. Read more about Hudson River Park’s Tribeca ecological enhancements.

group of people doing experiments


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The Hudson River with kayakers floating around

Hudson River Park is situated within the Hudson River Estuary. The Hudson River spans 315 miles from its source in the Adirondack Mountains to its terminus in New York Harbor.

Two happy scientists smiling at what they've discovered

Hudson River Park has prioritized fostering and sponsoring inclusive community science that increase knowledge of the Park’s Sanctuary.

A scuba diver prepares to enter the river

Explore a compilation of work from our partners and other agencies that has informed our understanding of the Sanctuary, its habitat and the health of its organisms.