National Geographic : 1978 Jan
the railroad came noise, cinders, sparks, and water pollution. The rail yards at Harmon spewed waste oil into the river until halted by court order in 1969. Manufacturers found the rail-river combi nation irresistible. By 1960 some 1,000 indus trial sites, including four power plants, were overusing the river's capacity to dilute and assimilate wastes. Rarely did voices call for a halt; instead they warned "Swimmer, be ware." Too many New Yorkers had relegated their river, in every sense, to the wrong side of the tracks. As use turned to abuse, complaints grew louder. Irate citizens banded into pressure groups. In 1966 the Hudson River Fisher men's Association resurrected the long ignored Federal Refuse Act of 1899 against dumping in navigable waterways, and the government started suing individual plants. Folksinger Pete Seeger, longtime resident of Beacon, worked the broader arena of public opinion. To draw people back to the river, he and other environmentalists built the Clear water, a 106-foot replica of an 1800's Hudson River cargo sloop. Now its great gull wing of The Hudson: "That River's Alive"