Hudson Raritan Estuary Case Study

The Mid-Atlantic Basin (Hydrologic Region 2), covering a drainage area of 111,417 square miles, includes some of the major rivers in the continental United States. Figure 6-1 highlights the location of the basin and the Hudson-Raritan estuary, the case study watershed profiled in this chapter.

With a length of 306 miles and a drainage area of 13,370 square miles, the Hudson River ranks seventy-first among the 135 U.S. rivers that are more than 100 miles in length. On the basis of mean annual discharge (1941-1970), the Hudson ranks twenty-sixth (19,500 cfs) of large rivers in the United States (Iseri and Langbein, 1974). Figure 6-2 highlights the location of the Hudson-Raritan estuary case study catalog units identified by major urban-industrial areas affected by severe water pollution problems during the 1950s and 1960s (see Table 4-2). This chapter presents long-term trends in population, municipal wastewater infrastructure and effluent loading of pollutants, ambient water quality, environmental resources, and uses of the Hudson-Raritan estuary. Data sources include USEPA's national water quality database (STORET), published technical literature, and unpublished technical reports ("grey" literature) obtained from local agency sources.

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