The Living River, and How’s the Water?

Posted 4/10/19

The Living River, and How’s the Water? - paired presentations about the Hudson River by George Jackman and Sebastian Pillitteri of Riverkeeper, are scheduled to be presented at SUNY …

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The Living River, and How’s the Water?


The Living River, and How’s the Water? - paired presentations about the Hudson River by George Jackman and Sebastian Pillitteri of Riverkeeper, are scheduled to be presented at SUNY Orange’s Kaplan Hall in the Great Room 101 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10. This program is free and open to the public.

The majority of fishes in the Hudson River silently navigate the murky waters - mostly in anonymity - seeking to reconstitute their populations in seasonal pulses. The ability to cross the salt barrier was a brilliant bet-hedging strategy until colonizers came in the 17th century, toppling these evolutionary schemes and upsetting the roles these creatures play in their respective ecosystems. George Jackman, PhD will address the situation facing most imperiled species and how Riverkeeper is working to protect them and restore their habitats in his talk, The Living River.

In partnership with community scientists, Riverkeeper tests select tributaries of the Hudson for fecal-indicator bacteria and other water quality parameters. These samples are collected from the streambank by Riverkeeper-trained community scientists, and processed in an onboard lab, a lab in Kingston, or a partner lab. During his part of the program, Sebastian Pillitteri will present, How’s the water? an examination of the major findings, and ways to get involved as a community scientist.

Based in Ossining, NY, Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect the environmental, recreational, and commercial integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries. Another important function of Riverkeeper is to safeguard the drinking water of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.

Beginning as the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association over 50 years ago, Riverkeeper is New York’s clean water advocate, having helped set worldwide standards for waterway and watershed protection and serving as the model for more than 300 Keeper programs around the globe.

George Jackman is a retired NYPD police lieutenant turned aquatic ecologist. An experienced, dynamic environmental activist, he conducts planning, outreach, fundraising, communications, and advocacy for Riverkeeper to help restore natural habitats for fish, amphibians, and other species in the Hudson River Estuary. Included in his responsibilities as Habitat Restoration Manager are the removal of dams and artificial barriers, so aquatic species can migrate to habitats they need to survive, reproduce, and thrive. He holds a PhD from Queens College.

Sebastian Pillitteri is the Community Science Coordinator at Riverkeeper, where he manages a water sampling network of over 414 sites, and coordinates hundreds of volunteers -- community scientists -- to take water samples. Before joining Riverkeeper, Pillitteri was the research coordinator at the Institute of Nature and Society of Oaxaca, an NGO (non-governmental organization) based in Southern Mexico focused on the integrated management of the Atoyac-Verde River watershed. He has a MS from the Bard College Center for Environmental Policy.

For more information, send an email to, call 341-9386/4891, or check out the SUNY Orange website at:

Kaplan Hall is located at the corner of Grand and First Streets, Newburgh. Free and secure parking is available in the Kaplan Hall garage accessible at 73 First Street.


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