World News

Taking A Swim In The Hudson River

By Peter Murphy ’24


A recent trend has been occurring around the internet as people decide to SWIM in the Hudson river. If you have been scrolling on Tiktok or Instagram, you might have seen a few videos of some alleged tourists in boats cruising by in the New York Harbor in bathing suits and jumping in by Lady Liberty. Now, this may seem very theatrical and all in good nature to be in a boat and see New York from the water. But to submerge yourself in water with dead bodies, sewage, and god knows what else is in there is nothing less than horrid. 

With some good news about the Hudson slowly becoming less contaminated as time passes, more people decide to swim in the Hudson and New York Harbor. People with jet skis have been coasting on the water, and more recreational swimming has occurred. People look in awe and wonder if the people swimming in the water are mentally stable. Unfortunately, swimming in the Hudson River has been looked down upon for years and still is today. Those who decide to swim in the Hudson are likely to be at risk of encountering a chemical known as “PCB” or Polychlorinated Biphenyl, lingering in the water for ages. This harmful chemical which is a part of the many things dumped into the Hudson can cause all sorts of cancer in the body. This chemical was deemed so bad that it was banned by the United States Toxic Substances Control Act in 1979.

You will see people posting their fun time on the internet in New York City by submerging themselves in the water might be seen as the closest thing to taking a bath in radioactive material. On top of the PCBs contaminating the water, studies have also shown the water has been polluted with substances that aren’t what you’d want in your swimming pool. These substances are cadmium, which is used to create batteries and other metallic items. In addition, many old rusted metals have been used to build buildings, like sewage from the New York sewage line, pesticides, and all the bacteria you could ever imagine. 

With all these chemicals in the water, you would think that nothing could inhabit such a dirty water space, right? You, my friend, would be so wrong. Sightings of dolphins have been recorded swimming in pods from ongoing kayakers going viral on the internet. A “pod” is what you call a group of dolphins, and oh boy, there were a lot of sightings of dolphins and other sea life in the Hudson and New York Harbor this year, including humans. But does this mean that you can potentially swim in the water? Besides the number of glares you would receive by jumping in, it has been ultimately said by the state of New York that it is now ultimately fine to swim in the water because of more cleaning acts in New York and better sewage control by the state. Still, with all of this in mind, it is highly discouraged. Local news sources claim the form of the water today to be “not cleaning itself.”

In conclusion, don’t swim in the Hudson. Just don’t. I don’t care if you’re an influencer. Swimming in the Hudson is ultimately not good for you. Here at the Highlander Newspaper, we pride ourselves on telling the truth, no matter what. We want to give you fantastic news stories. But come on, if you want to jump in the water and come out with a tail, that is your choice, and since you’re in New York, we don’t judge people very much; we just like to watch. 

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