Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2018

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


Once clean enough to be considered as a potential potable water source for New York City, the Bronx River and the overall quality of the water has steadily declined since European arrival in North America. As the socioeconomic divide between Westchester County and the Bronx developed and grew, so did the flow of floatable pollutants in the Bronx River. Quantitative data on the current number and category of floatable pollutants removed from the river in 2017 through the Bronx River Alliances’ Project WASTE is explored to provide the most up to date data on the trash in the river. Research information extracted from the disciplines of History, Environmental Social Justice, and Environmental Politics are incorporated to argue for the importance of increasing community restoration efforts for the Bronx River. The natural history of the river is established to illuminate the enormity of the human environmental footprint that has been left. Restoration efforts for the Bronx River are compared with those of the Hudson River in order to contrast the differences in the response to water pollution made by each level of government regarding two similar urban streams. Finally, quantitative data as well as historical, economic and environmental justice research are used to promote policy changes that prioritize restoration of the Bronx River.