State Health Department Invites Community Groups, Local Agencies to Promote Awareness of Hudson River Fish Advisory

Community Partner Meetings to be held October 23 in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 21, 2008) - The New York State Department of Health is holding meetings to form partnerships with community groups and local agencies to encourage anglers and other fish consumers to follow the Department's Hudson River fish advisories. The next meetings are on Thursday, October 23, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Quality Inn, 90 Route 17K, Newburgh; and from 2-4 p.m. at the Poughkeepsie Galleria Community Room, 2001 South Road, Poughkeepsie.

These meetings are part of DOH's Hudson River Fish Advisory Outreach Project. The project area extends from Hudson Falls to the New York City Battery. Through partnerships with community groups, the project will promote awareness about the advisories, help to identify why people may not follow the fish advisories and develop education and outreach activities that will be most effective.

DOH issues specific health advisories for more than 130 bodies of water in New York, including the Hudson River. Women of childbearing age and children under 15 should not eat any fish from the Hudson. For others, some species of fish can be eaten in limited quantities depending on the river location. Research has suggested that many people are unaware of the advisories or choose not to follow them. The fish advisories are posted on the DOH Web site at www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/outdoors/fish/hudson_river/advisory_outreach_project/advisories_signs_publications.htm

Meetings are open to the public. Recreational or commercial anglers, environmental justice advocates, local government and health officials, local health care providers, community food pantries, parks and recreation representatives, immigrant rights advocates, or other community leaders are especially encouraged to attend.

The first community partner meeting was held October 16 in Albany. Meetings are also scheduled on October 30 in Pomona and Yonkers.

For more information on the outreach project or to register for either the Newburgh or Poughkeepsie meeting, call 1-800-458-1158, ext. 27530 or e-mail hrfa@health.state.ny.us. Information may also be found at: www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/outdoors/fish/hudson_river/advisory_outreach_project/