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FACT SHEET - Hudson Raritan Estuary Restoration, NY and NJ

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Published Sept. 11, 2023

SUMMARY: The Hudson Raritan Estuary (HRE) Feasibility Study was initiated in 2001 and subsequently integrated with five (5) other ecosystem restoration studies within the HRE Study Area. The feasibility phase was completed and resulted in the HRE Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP) (Volume 1- 2016) which was adopted by the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program serving as the blueprint and master plan for restoration with partners in the region.  The Final HRE Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (FR/EA) (April 2020) and Chief’s Report (May 2020) recommended the construction of 20 individual restoration projects, with 10 non-federal sponsors, that will restore a mosaic of 621 acres of habitat that will reduce long-term and large-scale degradation in the HRE.  These projects were authorized for construction in the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 for a total first cost of $421,435,000 and fully funded cost (escalated to mid-point of construction) of $703,178,000 (FY24 Price Level). The Pre-Construction Engineering and Design (PED) Phase of each project will be initiated pending appropriations. Funding for the first four (4) projects (Stony Creek Marsh Island, Flushing Creek, Oysters at Naval Weapons Station Earle and Bronx Zoo & Dam/Stone Mill Dam Projects) was provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Law of 2022 ($1,200,000: $300,000 each) and the Bilateral Infrastructure Law (BIL) of 2022 ($25,978,000) to complete PED for each and complete construction for the Stony Creek Marsh Island.  Fresh Creek restoration was funded $500,000 in the FY2023 Omnibus Energy & Water Bill.

See the project placemat on the web link below for the specific restoration projects and habitats and engineering designs for each site.  All documents can be found at: https://www.nan.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Environmental-Restoration/Hudson-Raritan-Estuary/

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 was to identify and document water resource related problems, existing conditions and factors contributing to environmental degradation within the estuary in order to develop potential solutions aimed at ecosystem restoration. The overall objective of the HRE is to restore ecological function and diversity that has been lost or degraded as a result of human activities.  Implementation of the HRE Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study’s recommendations will enable the 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.

The USACE and multiple non-federal sponsors commenced six (6) concurrent ecosystem restoration feasibility studies in the 1990s and early 2000s that focused on the restoration of different areas of the HRE.  In an effort to streamline parallel efforts, and maximize efficiencies, resources and benefits, the feasibility studies were integrated into the HRE Feasibility Study effort.  The HRE Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment (FR/EA) fulfills the authorizations of all six (6) studies. 


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 September 28, 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.

Feasibility Study Phase:

The Feasibility Cost Sharing Agreements (FCSA) were executed as follows with the following local sponsors: 

   Feasibility Study

FCSA Execution

Study Sponsor

Current Study Cost


July 2001


Total: $19,702,802

Federal: $9,851,401

Non-Federal: $9,851,401

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: $5,406,000

Federal: $2,703,000

Non-Federal: $2,703,000

Flushing Creek and Bay

September 1999


Total: $2,940,000

Federal: $1,470,000

Non-Federal: $1,470,000

Bronx River Basin

November 2003

NYCDEP and Westchester


Total: 4,489,996

Federal: $2,244,998


Westchester- $864,152

NYCDEP- $1,380,846

Jamaica Bay, Marine Park and Plumb Beach

February 1996


Total: $4,810,622

Federal: $ 2,405,311

Non-Federal: $2,405,311

 *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.

Feasibility Study Phase:

As a first step of the HRE Feasibility Study, the USACE and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with participation of regional stakeholders developed a Comprehensive Restoration Plan (CRP) that serves as the master plan and blueprint for future restoration within the HRE region.  The CRP provides the framework for an estuary-wide ecological restoration program by utilizing restoration targets -Target Ecosystem Characteristics (TECs) established through a collaborative effort among the region’s stakeholders in 2005 through 2007.  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 Draft CRP was released in April 2009 and was adopted by the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program (HEP) as the path forward for restoration in the future. Following intensive public outreach, CRP Version 1.0 was released in June 2016.  The NY/NJ HEP Restoration Work Group’s charter is to coordinate regional partners to advance and implement the HRE CRP.

The HRE Feasibility Study recommended specific restoration projects throughout the HRE Study Area that advance the CRP goals and provide solutions for water resource problems. Feasibility activities included the evaluation of a subset of priority CRP sites including ecological functional assessments, preparation of restoration alternatives, engineering designs and cost estimates, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Assessments and Cost Effectiveness/Incremental Cost Analysis (CE/ICA) for each site.  In addition, other restoration opportunities outlined in the CRP were recommended for further feasibility study investigation which would require subsequent Congressional construction authorization.  A total of 33 sites were recommended as the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) in the Draft Integrated FR/EA released for public review in February 2017 following the TSP Milestone accomplished in August 2016.

The District had coordinated with the Vertical Team to address policy comments and completed additional tasks to confirm the TSP and ensure policy compliance (tasks included update of costs, ecological benefits, relative sea level change analysis and Planning Region Cost Effectiveness/Incremental Cost Analysis evaluations).  Following completion of these tasks, the Agency Decision Milestone (ADM) was held on September 5, 2018, and the following sites were removed from further consideration:

  • Jamaica Bay: Hawtree Point, Dubos Point, Brant Point and Bayswater Point State Park;
  • Lower Passaic River: Dundee Island Park, Clifton Dundee Canal and Kearny Point;
  • Bronx River: Muskrat Cove, River Park/West Farm Rapids Park, Crestwood Lake, Westchester County Center; and
  • Oyster Restoration: Soundview Park and Governors Island.


Final feasibility level activities were completed for the remaining sites and the Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment was submitted to HQUSACE on 11 February 2020 for review and approval. The State and Agency review occurred March 16, 2020 through April 15, 2020. The Chief’s Report was signed by LT General Todd Semonite on 26 May 2020 and was authorized for construction by Congress in the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 in December.


The Final Recommended Plan includes restoration at 20 individual project locations within five Planning Regions including:


 Newark Bay, Hackensack River and Passaic River Planning Region:

  • Hackensack River (2 sites): Meadowlark and Metromedia Marshes
  • Lower Passaic River (2 sites): Essex County Branch Brook Park and Oak Island Yards (following USEPA remedial actions)

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

  • Flushing Creek (1 site)
  • Bronx River (5 sites): Stone Mill Dam, Bronx Zoo and Dam, Shoelace Park, Bronxville Lake, Garth Woods/Harney Road

  Jamaica Bay Planning Region:

  • Perimeter sites (2): Fresh Creek and Dead Horse Bay (following NPS CERCLA investigation)
  • Marsh Islands (5): Stony Creek, Elders Center, Duck Point, Pumpkin Patch East and West
  • Oyster Restoration

  Upper Bay

  • Oyster Restoration at Bush Terminal

  Lower Bay

  • Oyster Restoration at Naval Weapons Station Earle


The Recommended Plan will restore a mosaic of 621 acres of habitat that will reduce long-term and large-scale degradation in the Hudson Raritan Estuary for a total first cost of $421,435,000 and fully funded cost (escalated to mid-point of construction) of $624,772,000 (FY22 Price Level). The plan also recommended future feasibility studies carried out under the HRE study authority.


The plan includes:

  • Restoration of approximately 381 acres of estuarine wetland habitat (including six miles of tidal channels), 50 acres of freshwater riverine wetland habitat, 27 acres of coastal and maritime forest habitat, 39 acres of shallow water habitat and 52 acres of oyster habitat.
  • Two fish ladders would be installed and three weirs would be modified to re-introduce or expand fish passage (24 miles) and control flow rate and water volume along the Bronx River.
  • A total of 1.6 miles of stream bank and 72 acres of stream bed and channel would be restored.


Pre-Construction Engineering and Design Phase:

The first six (6) restoration sites are currently underway through five (5) projects:


  • HRE-Stony Creek Marsh Island Restoration:  New York District (NYD) and NYCDEP executed a Design Agreement on July 28, 2022 to complete PED for the restoration of 62 acres of marsh island (low marsh, high marsh, scrub/shrub, tidal channels, shallow water) in Jamaica Bay following placement of >150,000 CYD of dredged material beneficially used from the O&M of the Jamaica Bay Federal Channel (or other O&M or construction project) for a total project cost of $29,726,000 (FY22 price level).
  • HRE-Flushing Creek Restoration Project: NYD and NYCDEP executed a Design Agreement on July 28, 2022, to complete PED for the restoration ~19 acres of a mosaic of habitats (wetlands, scrub/shrub, maritime forest and shallow water habitat) through invasive vegetation removal, re-grading, placement of clean cover/growing media and native plantings for a total project cost of $21,032,000 (FY22 price level).  
  • HRE-Bronx Zoo & Dam and Stone Mill Dam Restoration Project: NYD and NYC Parks executed a Design Agreement on 29 June 2022 to complete PED for the restoration of fish passage in the Bronx River and restoration of freshwater wetlands, stabilize streambanks and restore channel beds for a total project cost of $19,850,000 (FY22 price level).
  • HRE-Oysters at Naval Station Earle Restoration Project: NYD and NJDEP executed a Design Agreement on 14 September 2022 to restore 10 acres of oyster reefs using oyster castles, shell and gabions for a total project cost of $10,999,000 (FY22 price level). The project will expand an existing smaller pilot reef footprint that was constructed in 2012 by the NY/NJ Baykeeper.
  • HRE-Fresh Creek Restoration Project: NYD and NYCDEP will execute a Design Agreement (pending) to restore 80 acres of habitat (low marsh, high marsh, scrub/shrub, maritime forest, and bed/channel restoration) within Fresh Creek in Jamaica Bay for a total project cost of $50,987,000 (FY24 price level).  Federal funds ($500,000) was included in the FY2023 Omnibus Energy & Water Bill.


FY24 House Appropriations Bill included $5.025M and Senate bill included $5.525M for HRE including funds to complete Fresh Creek engineering and design, initiate and complete engineering and design for Duck Point Marsh Island and initiate engineering and design Garth Woods/Harney Road on the Bronx River.


Funding for these five projects are as follows:




Project TOTAL

Federal Funds

Non-Fed Funds4







Stony Creek Marsh Island










Flushing Creek










Bronx Zoo & Dam/Stone Mill Dam










Oysters Naval Station Earle










Fresh Creek




















1Federal funds provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) of 2022.

2 Federal funds provided in the FY23 Omnibus Bill.

3 Costs for Fresh Creek are FY24 Price Level. All others FY22 Price Levels.

4 Non-Fed funds to be provided in cash or Work In Kind.

The remaining 14 restoration sites would advance engineering and designs pending appropriations.


Ms. Lisa Baron
Project Manager
P: (917) 790-8306 and 646-385-1429 (cell)
Email: lisa.a.baron@usace.army.mil
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Programs and Project Management Division, Civil Works Programs Branch


                  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. Tom Malinowski

NJ-08 Rep. Albio Sires

NJ-09 Rep. William Pascrell, Jr.

NJ-10 Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.

NJ-11 Rep. Mikie Sherrill

NJ-12 Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

New York

NY U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer

NY U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

NY-02 Rep. Andrew Garbarino

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. Nicole Malliotakis

NY-12 Rep. Carolyn Maloney

NY-13 Rep. Adriano Espaillat

NY-14 Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

NY-15 Rep. Ritchie Torres

NY-16 Rep. Jamaal Bowman

NY-17 Rep. Mondaire Jones