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Posted 4/5/2017

Release no. 17-004


Contact
Michael Embrich
917-790-8007

NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District in partnership with non-federal sponsors (including Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, Westchester County Department of Planning) announces three public information meetings on April 6th, 19th and 25th to discuss the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (FR/EA) for the Hudson Raritan Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study which also includes:

  • Jamaica Bay, Marine Park, and Plumb Beach Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study;
  • Flushing Bay and Creek Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study;
  • Bronx River Basin Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study;
  • HRE- Lower Passaic River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study; and
  • HRE- Hackensack Meadowlands Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.

 The 45-day comment period for the Draft FR/EA was initiated on February 27, 2017 and was scheduled to conclude on April 14, 2017.  An extension of 15-days has been granted and will conclude on May 1, 2017.

Meeting Schedule

1: Thursday April 6, 2017
National Museum of the American Indian
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004

 2: Wednesday April 19, 2017
Meadowlands Environment Center
Two DeKorte Park Plaza Lyndhurst, NJ

3: Tuesday April 25, 2017
Floyd Bennett Field, Ryan Visitor Center
50 Aviation Road, Brooklyn, NY

 

Meetings are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will follow the agenda below:
1:00 to 1:30 p.m. & 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.  – Welcome and Poster Board Viewing
1:30 to 2:00 p.m. & 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.  – Formal Informational Presentation
2:00 to 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. - Poster Board Session and Information Exchange

Public comments on the Draft FR/EA can be submitted via email to:
HRE_FREA_Comments@usace.army.mil by May 1, 2017 or send to;

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Programs and Project Management Division – Civil Works Branch (ATTN: Lisa Baron)
26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278-0090

Comments received by May 1, 2017 regarding the Draft FR/EA assist in the agency’s evaluation of the project changes and will be reflected in the project record.   All written comments, including contact information, will be made a part of the administrative record, available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The Administrative Record, or portions thereof, may also be posted on a Corps of Engineers’ Internet website.  Due to resource limitations, this office will normally not acknowledge the receipt of comments or respond to individual letters of comments.

The goal of the HRE study is to identify a plan that restores and sustains a mosaic of habitats within the human-dominated landscape important to the people of the HRE region and the nation that maximizes habitat benefits while minimizing impacts to environmental, cultural, or socio-economic resources.

The HRE is located within one of the most urbanized regions in the United States.

 Urbanization and industrialization over the past 400 years has put stress on the estuary, resulting in significant ecosystem-level changes due to residual, persistent impacts to numerous habitats, especially those linked to aquatic environments. Regional development of the watershed and massive physical changes to the estuary, including dredging and channeling, filling, damming, and bank stabilization, led to marked hydrologic alterations, acute sediment contamination, pervasive reductions in water quality, and habitat fragmentation and loss. The ecological integrity, health, and resiliency of the estuary have been severely compromised.

The Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) includes the restoration of up to 33 sites throughout the estuary that will provide for an increase in the quality and extent of estuarine, freshwater riverine, marsh island and oyster habitat. It will provide for the restoration of up to 360 acres of estuarine wetland habitat, 12 acres of freshwater riverine wetland habitat, 81 acres of coastal and maritime forest habitat, 5.5 acres of riparian forest habitat, and 57 acres of oyster habitat. Two (2) fish ladders would be installed and three (3) weirs would be modified to re-introduce or expand fish passage along the Bronx River. Sites were selected based on the potential each site provided in meeting the HRE program "to develop a mosaic of habitats that provides society with renewed and increased benefits from the estuary environment", as well as considering of how each site contributes to the overall objectives and restoration goals within each Planning Region. Restoration measures were developed to restore ecosystem function while recognizing the urban nature of the existing environment.

The Draft FR/EA has been prepared for the proposed Federal action in accord with the Council on Environmental Quality’s National Environmental Policy Act regulations [Federal Register 40 CFR 1508.9(a)].

Documents for the Hudson Raritan Estuary Feasibility Study are available for review and download from the USACE-New York District’s website:

http://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Ecosystem-Restoration/HRE-Ecosystem-Restoration/HRE-Hudson-Raritan-Estuary-Ecosystem-Restoration/

New York District is responsible for the Corps’ water resources development, navigation and regulatory activities in northeastern New Jersey, eastern and south-central New York State, and parts of Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The district is also responsible for design and construction at Army and Air Force installations in New Jersey, New York, and Greenland. The District also provides support following disasters and for the Global War on Terror.