ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Office of General Services (OGS) are in the final phase of completing their wedgewire project on the Hudson River. The project will ultimately help protect aquatic life in the river.

The new wedgewire screening system has been installed at the Riverfront Pump Station in Albany. The pump station uses water from the Hudson River to cool the Empire State Plaza and nearby buildings during the summer.

The wedgewire screening has small slots that prevent small fish and fish larvae from being drawn into the water intake. The installation of the screens will particularly help protect river herring and American shad, two migratory species that have suffered population declines, said the DEC.

“The installation of the wedgewire screening system in the Hudson River is one big project that will save millions of tiny aquatic lives,” said OGS Commissioner Jeanette Moy. “The OGS team deeply appreciates the DEC’s guidance on this endeavor and is grateful to all the state and federal regulatory agencies we’re working with to get this project to the finish line.”

The screens are now fully operational, said the DEC. The rest of the construction work at the site is expected to be completed in winter 2023.