The Hudson is unique, not matched in the variety and peculiarity of its manifestations by any other river on the globe.★
The Hudson rises precipitously among the northern mountains but during most of its extent it belongs to both the ocean and the land. It runs into a deep trench far under the Atlantic. However, in its now visible manifestation, its southern tidal boundary is where Sandy Hook marks off, like a parenthesis, the open ocean from the wide mouth of the Lower New York Bay. The tides advance inland through Gravesend Bay (north of Coney island), contract into the Narrows (now spanned by the Verrazano bridge), widen out again in the Upper Bay between Staten Island and the western shore of Long Island, pass Bedloe's Island (where the Statue of Liberty stands) and, having traveled some fifteen miles from the Atlantic, reach the lower tip of Manhattan Island. But the confrontation with one of the world's greatest cities does not stop the tides for a moment. They charge northward, up the Hudson River, passing between Manhattan and New Jersey, carrying the ocean's briny water some eighty miles inland. The pulse of the sea is felt all the way to the Hudson's upper city, Albany, some one hundred and eighty miles from the ocean and one hundred and fifty from lower Manhattan.
This deep tidal invasion of the sea is made possible by two phenomena. The Hudson drains only a restricted hinterland and amazingly is joined, during the entire trip to the ocean, by only one tributary of any dimension, the Mohawk River. On its broad trip to the sea, the Hudson fights the tides with surprisingly little water of its own, and the river bed is almost completely lacking in the declivity that would give the river a____________________