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The BRONX RIVER, approximately 24 miles (39 km) long, flows through southeast New York in the United States
United States
and drains an area of 38.4 square miles (99 km2). It is named after colonial settler Jonas Bronck . The Bronx
The Bronx
River is the only fresh water river in New York City .

It originally rose in what is now the Kensico Reservoir , in Westchester County north of New York City
New York City
. With the construction of the Kensico Dam
Kensico Dam
in 1885, however, the river was cut off from its natural headwaters and today a small tributary stream serves as its source. The Bronx
The Bronx
River flows south past White Plains , then south-southwest through the northern suburbs, passing through Edgemont , Tuckahoe , Eastchester , and Bronxville . It forms the border between the large cities of Yonkers and Mount Vernon , and flows into the northern end of The Bronx
The Bronx
, southward through Bronx Park
Bronx Park
, New York Botanical Garden , and the Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo
and continues through urbanized areas of the South Bronx
South Bronx
where it divides East Bronx
East Bronx
from West Bronx
West Bronx
. It empties into the East River
East River
, a tidal strait connected to Long Island Sound
Long Island Sound
, between the Soundview and Hunts Point neighborhoods.

In the 17th century, the river—called by the natives "Aquehung"—served as a boundary between loosely associated bands under sachems of the informal confederacy of the Wecquaesgeek
Wecquaesgeek
, Europeanized as the Wappinger
Wappinger
; the east bank of the river was the boundary for the Siwanoy , clammers and fishermen. The same line would be retained when manors were granted to the Dutch and the English. The Algonkian significance of the name is variously reported; the acca- element, as represented in the Long Island place-name Accabonac , was deformed into the more familiar, suitably watery European phoneme aque-.

The tract purchased by Jonas Bronck
Jonas Bronck
in 1639 lay between the Harlem River and the river that came to be called "Bronck's river".

CONTENTS

* 1 Pollution * 2 Ecology * 3 Recreational amenities and wildlife * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links

POLLUTION

Entering the Botanical Garden Lorillard Snuff Mill

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the river became a natural sewer into which industrial waste was poured every day. An early mill on the industrialized river was the Lorillard Snuff Mill , preserved in the grounds of the New York Botanical Garden
New York Botanical Garden
. With the decline of manufacturing in the area, the river continued to receive water pollution from the communities that lined its banks. In December 1948, flow of the Bronx River
Bronx River
was changed to eliminate a curve in its course in Bronxville , to create land in the old riverbed on which to construct an addition to Lawrence Hospital . During the excavations a large sand bar was uncovered where sand had accumulated at the bend over hundreds of years and made a sandy beach.

In the 21st century, environmental groups including the Bronx River Alliance proposed to return the river to its original state as a clean waterway. The river became a favorite project of U.S. Representative José Serrano , who secured US$14.6 million in federal funding to support the rehabilitation of the waterway, into which some Westchester towns continued to discharge raw sewage intermittently, as sanitary sewer overflows , as late as 2006. Under a November 28, 2006 agreement, the municipalities of Scarsdale , White Plains , Mount Vernon and Greenburgh agreed to stop dumping sewage in the Bronx River by May 1, 2007.

Urban runoff
Urban runoff
pollution continues to be a serious problem for the river. The Bronx
The Bronx
River Watershed Coalition, a partnership of local and state agencies, citizen groups and non-profit organizations, have developed watershed management plans to reduce stormwater pollution and improve water quality .

ECOLOGY

Rail line runs along the river The Bronx
The Bronx
River near its mouth

Local alewife , taken from a coastal tributary in nearby Connecticut , were released in the river in March 2006. The alewife were expected to spawn in the river's headwaters. Their offspring would spend the summer in the river, migrate out to sea in the fall, and in three to five years return, like all anadromous fishes, to their spawning grounds. Stocking was intended to be repeated annually for the following five years, to build up the new resident population. The fishes, among a group called "river herring," feed low on the food-chain and help reduce eutrophication . And in fact, several adult alewife were found below the first dam on the river on April 7, 2009. As an analysis revealed they were 3 years old, the assumption of scientists is that these were in fact descendants of the alewife released 3 years before in March 2006. The next step will be to erect fish ladders over the 3 dams lowest on the river, allowing the alewife access to a portion of the river with more suitable spawning habitat.

In February 2007 biologists with the Wildlife Conservation Society , which operates the Zoo, spotted a beaver (Castor canadensis) in the river. "There has not been a sighting of a beaver lodge or a beaver in New York City
New York City
for over 200 years. It sounds fantastic, but one of the messages that comes out of this is if you give wildlife a chance it will come back," said John Calvelli, a spokesman for the Society. The beaver is named Jose Serrano , after the Congressman, and was sighted below the East Tremont bridge at Drew Gardens as recently as June, 2009. Beaver had not lived in New York City
New York City
since the early 19th century when trappers extirpated them completely from the state. In the summer of 2010 a second beaver joined Jose, doubling the beaver population in New York City. Beaver were once important to the city's economy and pair of beaver appear on the city\'s official seal and flag .

RECREATIONAL AMENITIES AND WILDLIFE

The river in winter

Along much of its length in Westchester County and the northern Bronx the river is paralleled by the Bronx River Parkway and its associated bicycle path from Bronxville to the Kensico Dam
Kensico Dam
plaza. A project, the Bronx River
Bronx River
Greenway, proposes a unified management plan for the narrow ribbon of riverside green spaces in the 8 miles (13 km) stretch of river that passes through Westchester County and The Bronx, as part of the East Coast Greenway
East Coast Greenway
. It includes a Concrete Plant Park on the right bank, below Westchester Avenue and Starlight Park above there.

In the southern Bronx, the river has become a popular destination for urban canoeing in New York City. It also bisects Bronx Park
Bronx Park
and the Bronx Zoo. A tram built in the late 20th century takes Zoo customers over the river to an exhibit of Asian animals on the left bank, with a narration presenting the river as the Irrawaddy .

SEE ALSO

* Bronx Kill
Bronx Kill
* List of New York rivers
List of New York rivers

REFERENCES

* ^ "USGS 01302020 BRONX RIVER AT NY BOTANICAL GARDEN AT BRONX NY". waterdata.usgs.gov. USGS. Retrieved 13 October 2014. * ^ "Kensico Reservoir". http://www.dec.ny.gov/. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Retrieved 13 October 2014. External link in website= (help ) * ^ "USGS 01302020 BRONX RIVER AT NY BOTANICAL GARDEN AT BRONX NY". http://waterdata.usgs.gov/. USGS. Retrieved 13 October 2014. External link in website= (help ) * ^ "USGS 01302020 BRONX RIVER AT NY BOTANICAL GARDEN AT BRONX NY". http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/. USGS. Retrieved 13 October 2014. External link in website= (help ) * ^ A B Shaw, Richard K.; Reinhardt, Lindsay; Isleib, Jacob. "Soil Survey of Bronx River
Bronx River
Watershed Bronx, New York" (PDF). http://www.nycswcd.net/. USDA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2014. External link in website= (help ) * ^ Berger, Joseph (2010-07-19). "Reclaimed Jewel Whose Attraction Can Be Perilous". New York Times
New York Times
. Retrieved 2010-07-21. ; all the other rivers within the city are straits and tidal estuaries, and the tidal lower reach of the Hudson River
Hudson River
. * ^ A B Barbara Shay MacDonald (Scarsdale Historical Society), "The Bronx River: Boundary of Indian Tribes, Colonies, Manors, Cities and Villages" Archived 2010-06-07 at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ Proceedings of the New York Historical Association, 1906, offers "Peace Place";

Wikimedia Commons has media related to BRONX RIVER .

* The Bronx
The Bronx
River Alliance * Bronx River Parkway Reservation * New York City
New York City
Department of Parks and Recreation * Video of Bronx River
Bronx River
beavers Dec. 2011 * NYC DEP * Rocking the Boat A river-based community outreach educational program * The Bronx
The Bronx
River Virtual Tour * Hunts Point Express: The Bronx
The Bronx
River teaches teens many lessons

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