The City of Albany is located on the western edge of the Hudson River in the Lower Hudson Watershed, a tidal estuary which makes up approximately 40% of the Hudson/Mohawk River Basin--one of the largest drainage areas on the eastern seaboard, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Hudson River (and its tributaries) are major natural features that have shaped Albany's identity and urban footprint throughout its history. Albany is privileged to have approximately 4.5 miles of waterfront, most of which is designated for recreational and entertainment activities... Erastus Corning Riverfront Preserve in North Albany, the Corning Riverfront Park in Downtown, and Island Creek Park in the South End… as well as, touring attractions such as, Dutch Apple Cruises and the Historic USS Slater.
And not to overlook this major economic driver in the South End--the Port of Albany offers significant employment and financial benefit to the Capital Region and New York State overall, generating millions of dollars in investments each year through cargo shipments, supplies and other commodities.
Though the entire eastern border of Albany is distinguished by the Hudson River, utilizing the waterfront still remains a challenge for the City. Albany’s access points have been extensively altered by private development, and are limited due to major highway and railway infrastructure barriers, built in general response to twentieth century suburban migration and a decline in the use of the Erie Canal.
However, the City's focus to (re)connect with the waterfront and implement strategies outlined in Albany 2030, continues to be a major priority. Access improvements and signage have been incorporated in the completed transportation updates at the Corning Riverfront Park (see the Corning Preserve Master Plan), and the Albany Skyway--a project to transform an underutilized highway ramp into an elevated park--is soon to move forward with an innovative multi-use concept that will bring pedestrians and cyclists from multiple neighborhoods to and from the waterfront.
The City values the Hudson River for its influential force behind Albany's historic development, cultural expression and economic prosperity. The Hudson is a natural environment that provides visitors and residents alike with a prime resource for recreation, for scenic beauty, and for a sense of place in the State of New York. Therefore, the City will continue to look for opportunities to move forward with improvements that further develop commercial and recreational outlets, protect water quality and habitat environments, and create waterfront access and community connections to this amazing destination.