Updated Monday, Dec. 21 1:10 p.m.
NEWYORK (CBSNewYork) — An environmental watchdog group has filed notice that it plans to sue the New York State Thruway Authority over fish being killed in the Hudson River.
The group Riverkeeper says construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge has led to an increase in the deaths of the endangered Atlantic sturgeon.
Riverkeeper’s John Lipscomb told WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini that 122 sturgeon have been reported dead since work began in 2012, up from just six in the three years prior.
“There’s a definite link with the start of the project,” Lipscomb said.
The Thruway Authority, however, released a statement Saturday, saying: “There is no credible scientific evidence that the project activities have negatively impacted the sturgeon populations. Since construction began, the project team has taken unprecedented measures to protect endangered sturgeon and other aquatic life in the Hudson River and reduce resuspension of sediments due to vessel movements, including the use of bubble curtains during pile driving to reduce underwater noise, extensive sturgeon monitoring, tracking and habitat studies, construction and armoring of dredge access channel and substantial water quality monitoring.”
Atlantic sturgeon, which live an average of 60 years and can grow up to 15 feet in length, spawn in the river. Their eggs are used for high-end caviar.