- Saw Mill River
The Saw Mill River is a 20 mile (32 km) long tributary of the Hudson River in the United States, flowing from a marsh in Chappaqua to Yonkers, New York, where it empties into the Hudson. Its starting point in Chappaqua is presumed to be a spring. In the 17th century, the Saw Mill River was known as Nepperhan Creek. In the 19th century, the lower portion was an important industrial area, with the New York and Putnam Railroad running along the river from Putnam County to central Yonkers, and thence to Tibbets Creek and the Harlem River. Early in the 21st century this "Old Putnam Railroad" became the South County and North County Trailways, a network of bicycle/pedestrian trails. The Saw Mill River Parkway parallels the river along its west bank for much of its route through Westchester Country, and Saw Mill River Road along the east.
The last 2,000 feet (600 m) of the river, originally including a small gorge, are buried in a flume passing under downtown Yonkers and its railroad station. A 2007 proposal to spend $34 million to expose parts of the flume to daylight, as part of a $3 billion redevelopment plan for Yonkers, has been approved. On December 15, 2010, the City of Yonkers and its partner agencies broke ground on the daylighting project. A park around the opened section of the river is in the planning stages, overseen by the City of Yonkers and Groundwork Hudson Valley with planning support from Project for Public Spaces.
In 2008, the Saw Mill River was the subject of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Targeted Watershed Grant of $889,183 for three years, one of only 15 nationwide recipients out of a pool of over 100 applicants. The official applicant was Groundwork Hudson Valley, the coordinator of the Saw Mill River Coalition.
On September 25-26, 2009, Groundwork Hudson Valley's Saw Mill River Coalition organized the first BioBlitz to catalog species of plant life, animal life, insects, fungi, and bacteria in the river and its watershed.
The Saw Mill River passes through several downtown areas and marshes. Several of those marshes have been destroyed or impacted by suburban residential and commercial development, impacting organisms living in the marshes.
Runoff from streets and untreated storm drains from communities around the river tend to make their way into the Saw Mill River. These objects entering the Saw Mill River include pesticides, garbage, and animal feces, among other objects.
The river, in areas such as Chappaqua, has a sediment problem. Much of this sediment comes from tributaries such as Tercia Brook. Algae, invasive plants, and toxic compounds, such as pesticides, are rather common.
The Saw Mill River is surrounded by several major roads, such as the Saw Mill River Parkway, New York State Route 100, New York State Route 9A and other suburban road development. Most storm drains from these roads lead into the river.
These problems have been brought up several times, and communities have sought to improve them.
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