Hudson River Collection is a treasure trove of environmental data for SBU researchers |

From the Stony Brook School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), left to right: Robyn Linner, Patricia Woodruff, Stephanie Arsenault, Katrina Rokosz, Hsiao-Yun Chang and Yong Chen. Photos by John Griffin.

Every season for more than 40 years, the Hudson River Biological Monitoring Program has collected millions of marine samples along the 150 miles of the Hudson River, from Troy Dam in upstate New York to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, yielding one of the most comprehensive ecological datasets on the planet.

Today, researchers at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) are the beneficiaries of this treasure trove of fish and water quality data, which sits near the campus of Stony Brook at Port Jefferson Station. Commonly referred to as the Hudson River Collection, it was donated to the university by Entergy Corporation, which operated the Indian Point Energy Center nuclear power plant and created the monitoring program to assess the plant’s environmental impact.

The immense amount of information in the collection provides academic research with a huge opportunity for scientific discovery, according to Paul Shepson, dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

Hudson River Collection 1

“Anyone who has time to see will be amazed at the magnitude of this collection,” Shepson said, adding that the collection has the power to inspire students “about the magnitude of the challenges we have.”

“This provides us with a unique opportunity to study the Hudson River ecosystem and how the system has changed over the past 50 years,” said Professor SoMAS Yong Chen, who is the principal investigator for “the assessment of the changing biogeography of shad shad in a changing environment”. Hudson River Ecosystem,” one of four Stony Brook research projects administered by New York Sea Grant and funded by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Chen is also leading a second project, “Analysis of Historical Hudson River Biological Monitoring Program to Develop an Integrated Long-Term Monitoring Program of Hudson River Ecosystem Dynamics”. Several other projects that will benefit from the collection are also in development.

Shepson said ongoing research now and in the future will help provide answers regarding human impact on the environment. “There is nothing like it in history; it pushes us forward in a scientific race for which we are made.

Shepson and Chen discuss the collection in the following video: