Roiling water seen along the Hudson bank at Bowline Point Park is puzzling local environmentalists. The state Department of Environmental Conservation, so far, can’t pinpoint what caused the bubbly water along Bowline Point Park.
Meanwhile, a plume of black smoke, seen in the area the same morning, July 13, also remains under the scrutiny of the DEC.
Both incidents, detected within a few hours of each other, occurred in the vicinity of the Bowline Point power generator in West Haverstraw.
According to officials at Rockland County’s Office of Fire and Emergency Services, the smoke plume was a temporary situation, linked to “incomplete combustion” at the Bowline Plant, but there was no fire. Bowline also notified the Thiells Fire Department in case they received any calls, county officials said, to avoid an unnecessary response.
DEC officials said the plant was tasked with monitoring the location where the bubbles were reported twice daily. DEC will also continue its monitoring and oversight of the facility.
The bubbly water was spotted by Owen Cramsie, who’s lived 35 of his 62 years in Garnerville.
Cramsie takes pictures just about every morning near along the Hudson, which can be seen on his Instagram, oweys_photos. “That’s like my happy place,” said Cramsie, whose retired a few years now from Local 3 Electricians Union. “This is what I do for fun.”
That Wednesday morning, Cramsie was hoping to see a black bear rumored to be hanging out in the park. He had already seen an osprey and expected to run across eagles who nested nearby.
Cramsie said he was near where the Minisceongo outflows to the Hudson at low time, probably 7 a.m., when he saw and heard it − the rumble and bubbles in a patch of water.
“That was a first,” Cramsie said. So he contacted Riverkeeper, which contacted the DEC.
John Lipscomb, Riverkeeper patrol boat captain and vice president, was out on the nonprofit organization’s boat around Ossining. He heard about Cramsie’s observation and, around 10:30 a.m. that same morning, made one of his own. He spotted and then reported the plume of black smoke billowing from the area of Bowline Point plant.
“I’ve been very careful to say that we have no idea whether it’s connected to the power plant,” Lipscomb said of the black plume. “I was looking at it from miles away.”
Lipscomb, who has reviewed video and photos of the bubbling phenomenon from Cramsie, remains puzzled. He’s been asking some Hudson River experts in the academic field, but so far received no answer.
Lipscomb said the bubbles didn’t look like what’s seen when shellfish stir underwater or when methane is produced from the metabolic process of bacteria eating decaying creatures. “I’ve been on the water my whole life all over the world and I’ve never seen it before.”
The bubbles have yet to appear again, so samples haven’t been taken. Cramsie didn’t have any bottles to take samples – he has carried them since, he said.
Cramsie did make some observations. There was no no smell, he said.
But he didn’t check if the bubbly water’s temperature was different than any other spot on the river. “I didn’t want to touch it,” he said. “I am kinda dumb but I’m not that dumb.”
I don’t know what this was… One thing is sure, gas has been released. But it will be hard to tell which one until someone else spots this phenomenon a second time… [lehud]
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