Hudson-Raritan Estuary

Hudson-Raritan Estuary

A map of the Hudson-Raritan estuary of New York and New Jersey. The estuary is the drainage point for the Hudson River and surrounds much of New York City.

Grades

4 - 12+

Subjects

Geography, Human Geography

The Hudson-Raritan Estuary is a system of bays and tidal rivers where the Hudson, Hackensack, Passaic, Rahway, and Raritan rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean. It includes New York's pristine Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, as well as the busiest harbor in the entire world, Upper New York Bay.

Development along the shoreline has caused much pollution to build up in the estuary over time, particularly from the large cities around the estuary, including New York City and Newark, New Jersey. Many groups have changed their practices and experimented with new techniques to improve the health of the estuary system, including planting beds of oysters, a shellfish that filters pollutants out of the water.

The Hudson River gets its name from English explorer Henry Hudson who sailed his ship, the Half Moon, up the waterway along with his crew of Dutch and British sailors up towards present-day Albany, New York on September 3, 1609. Hudson and his crew thought it might be a new route to the Far East region of Asia. The Half Moon had been searching for that route, the Northwest Passage, from Scandinavia to present-day Maine and South Carolina.

The Raritan River takes its name from an Algonquin word. Algonquin is a language group shared by many tribes in the eastern United States at the time of Henry Hudson's arrival to the area.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Writer
Sean P. O'Connor, BioBlitz Education Consultant
Editor
National Geographic Society
Map
Mapping Specialists
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. She or he will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.

Media

If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.

Text

Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service.

Interactives

Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources