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Ecosystem Restoration Study

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DESCRIPTION: The Hudson Raritan Estuary (HRE) is within the boundaries of the Port District of New York and New Jersey, and is situated within a 25 mile radius of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The HRE study area includes 8 Planning Regions: 1) Jamaica Bay; 2) Lower Bay; 3) Lower Raritan River; 4) Arthur Kill/Kill Van Kull; 5) Newark Bay, Hackensack River and Passaic River; 6) Lower Hudson River; 7) Harlem River, East River, and Western Long Island Sound; and 8) Upper Bay.   


The study purpose is to identify the water resources problems, existing conditions and factors contributing to environmental degradation within the estuary in order to develop potential solutions aimed at ecosystem restoration, while building upon existing restoration efforts and management plans (e.g., Harbor Estuary Program’s Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan).   The HRE Ecosystem Restoration Program will enable the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), its non-Federal cost-sharing sponsors, and other regional stakeholders to restore and protect lost or degraded aquatic, wetland and terrestrial habitats within the HRE study area. These activities will be accomplished by implementing various site-specific ecosystem restoration projects formulated within the context of an overall strategic plan.


As a first step, the USACE, with participation of the regional stakeholders, has developed a Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP) that serves as a master plan and blueprint for future restoration in the HRE region.  The CRP provides the framework for an estuary-wide ecological restoration program by utilizing restoration targets -Target Ecosystem Characteristics (TECs) developed by the region’s stakeholders. The CRP Program goal is to develop a mosaic of habitats that provide society with renewed and increased benefits from the estuary environment. Each TEC is an important ecosystem property or feature that is of ecological and/or societal value including restoration of coastal wetlands, shellfish/oyster reefs, eelgrass beds, waterbird islands, public access, maritime forest, tributary connections, shorelines and shallow habitat, fish crab and lobster habitat, reduction of contaminated sediments and improvement of enclosed and confined waters. The CRP provides a strategic plan to achieve the TEC goals, identify potential restoration opportunities and mechanisms for implementation.


The HRE Feasibility Study will recommend specific restoration projects throughout the HRE Study Area that advance the CRP goals and provide solutions for water resource problems.   Up to 33 projects will be recommended for near-term construction and future feasibility study spin-offs (per Civil Works Transformation).  Recommendations from the HRE- Lower Passaic River, HRE- Hackensack Meadowlands, Flushing Creek and Bay, Bronx River Basin, and Jamaica Bay, Marine Park, Plumb Beach Feasibility Studies were incorporated into the Draft HRE Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment.



HRE, HRE-Lower Passaic River, and HRE-Hackensack Meadowlands

House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Resolution dated April 15, 1999, Docket Number 2596.

Flushing Bay and Creek

Congress Resolution dated 28 September 1994, Docket Number 2442.

Bronx River Basin

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Resolution dated March 24, 1998, Docket Number 2551

Jamaica Bay, Marine Park, Plumb Beach

Committee on Public Works and Transportation of the United States House of Representatives Resolution dated August 1, 1990. 


STATUS: The USACE Reconnaissance Phase for HRE commenced in January 2000 and a Section 905(b) WRDA 86 Analysis was approved in June 2000. The Project Management Plans (PMP) and Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreements (FCSA) were executed with the following local sponsors:



Feasibility Study

FCSA Execution

Study Sponsor

Study Cost


July 2001


Total: $19,500,000

Federal: $10,000,000

Non-Federal: $9,500,000

HRE-Lower Passaic River*

June 2003


Total: $9,000,000

Federal: $4,500,000

Non-Federal: $4,500,000

HRE-Hackensack Meadowlands

April 2003

New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (formerly Hackensack Meadowlands Commission)

Total: $5,200,000

Federal: $2,600,000

Non-Federal: $2,600,000

Flushing Creek and Bay

September 1999



Federal: $1,438,000

Non-Federal: $1,438,000






Feasibility Study

FCSA Execution

Study Sponsor

Study Cost

Bronx River Basin

November 2003

NYCDEP and Westchester County

Total: 4,489,996

Federal: $2,244,998


Westchester- $864,324

NYCDEP- $1,380,674

Jamaica Bay, Marine Park and Plumb Beach

February 1996



Federal: $ 2,138,000

Non-Federal: $2,138,000


*Note: The HRE-Lower Passaic River Feasibility Study was conducted in partnership with USEPA, NOAA, USFWS and the State of New Jersey to develop a comprehensive solution for restoration and remediation (in coordination with the Superfund Program). The USEPA and USACE are Co-Leads of the Lower Passaic River Urban Waters Federal Partnership.


Overall goals and restoration targets were established as a collaborative effort among the region’s stakeholders through a series of stakeholder workshops in 2005 through 2007. A Draft Comprehensive Restoration Plan was released in April 2009 and has been adopted by the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) as the path forward for restoration in the future. Intensive public outreach to build consensus for the CRP was completed in July 2011 and the CRP Version 1.0 has been updated based on stakeholder and Harbor Estuary Program Restoration Work Group (HEP RWG) comments and was released in June 2016.


For the feasibility study, the District has evaluated opportunities that would result in construction authorization for a subset of sites outlined in the CRP, as well as a list of restoration opportunities for future feasibility study (pursuant to Civil Works Transformation SMART Planning principles). Up to 33 sites are recommended for construction including:


Newark Bay, Hackensack River and Passaic River Planning Region:

  • Hackensack River (2 sites): Meadowlark and Metromedia Marshes

  • Lower Passaic River (5 sites): Essex County Branch Brook Park, Dundee Island Park, Clifton Dundee Canal Green Acres, and Kearny Point and Oak Island Yard (following USEPA Remedial Actions).


East River, Harlem River, Western Long Island Sound Planning Region:

  • Flushing Creek (1 site)

  • Bronx River (9 sites): Stone Mill Dam, Bronx Zoo and Dam, Shoelace Park, Muscrat Cove, River Park/West Farm Rapids Park, Westchester County Center, Bronxville Lake, Crestwood Lake, Garth Woods/Harney Road


Jamaica Bay Planning Region:

  • Perimeter sites (6): Fresh Creek, Hawtree Point, Dubos Point, Brant Point, Bayswater Point State Park, Dead Horse Bay

  • Marsh Islands (5): Elders Center, Duck Point, Stony Creek, Pumpkin Patch East and West


Upper Bay:

  • Liberty State Park- Previously authorized in WRDA 2007


Oyster Restoration:

  • Governors Island, Naval Weapons Station Earle, Bush Terminal, Soundview Park, and Jamaica Bay


Feasibility activities included ecological functional assessments, preparation of restoration alternatives, FS-level engineering designs and cost estimates, NEPA Environmental Assessments and Cost Effectiveness/Incremental Cost Analysis (CE/ICA) for each site.  In addition, other restoration opportunities outlined in the CRP will be recommended for further feasibility study investigation which would require subsequent Congressional construction authorization. The Tentatively Selected Plan Milestone was held in August 2016 and the Draft Interim Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment is expected to be released for public review in February 2017.


(  Public comment period closed on May 1, 2017 and the team is addressing public and USACE policy comments.





Ms. Lisa Baron, Project Manager,

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District

Phone: (917) 790-8306


26 Federal Plaza

New York, NY 10278-0090






New Jersey

NJ U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez

NJ U.S. Sen. Corey Booker

NJ-05 Rep. Josh Gottheimer

NJ-06 Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr.

NJ-07 Rep. Leonard Lance

NJ-08 Rep. Albio Sires

NJ-09 Rep. William Pascrell, Jr.

NJ-10 Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.

NJ-11 Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

NJ-12 Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

New York

NY U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer

NY U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

NY-02 Rep. Peter King

NY-03 Rep. Thomas Suozzi

NY-04 Rep. Kathleen Rice

NY-05 Rep. Gregory Meeks

NY-06 Rep. Grace Meng

NY-07 Rep. Nydia Velazquez

NY-08 Rep. Hakeem Jeffries

NY-09 Rep. Yvette Clarke

NY-10 Rep. Jerrold Nadler

NY-11 Rep. Daniel Donovan

NY-12 Rep. Carolyn Maloney

NY-13 Rep. Adriano Espaillat

NY-14 Rep. Joseph Crowley

NY-15 Rep. Jose Serrano

NY-16 Rep. Eliot Engel



 Current as of July 2017