Contamination and Remediation
Harbor Estuary Publishes "State of the Harbor 2012" Visit Website
The New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program, which last year added the Raritan River Watershed to its program area, has published their latest report on the quality of the harbor.
- Since 1998, HEP partners have protected at least 50 sites totaling over 5,200 acres of valuable habitats.
- The HEP’s Regional Sediment Management Work Group recently completed the Sediment Management Plan for the 16,300-square mile region dealing with the quality and quantity of sediments in the region, management of dredge materials, the pollutants contaminating it and where that contamination begins.The Plan advocates a cooperative regional approach.
- Over 85% of the wetlands of 1880 have been filled or drained. Today, efforts to restore wetlands are making progress in recovering some of those eighty square miles of wetlands. An ongoing partnership lead by the Army Corps of Engineers has preserved 100 acres of marsh land in Jamaica Bay with 77 additional acres to come. NOAA led a project in Jersey City to restore 24 acres of land that was once a landfill.
- In 1880, the estuary boasted 220,000 acres of oyster reefs, keeping the waters clean and providing a prolific fishery. Overfishing, pollution and dredging have reduced this population to 0. Organizations like the NY-NJ Baykeeper are part of the Oyster Restoration Research Project to champion restoring the oysters in the estuary - and their efforts continue to build public support.
- Peregrine falcons, locally extinct in the 1960s, have rebounded with 19 nesting pairs in the region.
- Herons, similarly decimated, have built over 2000 nests in the estuary
- Inventories of local fish, along with restoration projects including dam removals and fish ladder projects on the Raritan, have seen new opportunities to restore historic fish populations. Shad populations recently dropped, but protections have increased the number of stripers and other species.
- Invasive plants and aquatic animal species create ongoing challenges, but alert citizen report to various stewards who are working continuously to reduce these and restore the region's native species.
Wenzel, Kelly (Rutgers student research, 2011). What Now? Revisited: Assessing the Superfund Redevelopment Program for New Jersey’s Superfund Sites - an update on "deleted" Superfund sites in New Jersey
US Army Corps of Engineers. (2009). "Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Hudson-Raritan Estuary".
Lauenstein, G.G., Kimbrough, K.L., (2007). "Chemical Contamination of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary as a result of the attack on the World Trade Center: Analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls in mussels and sediment". Marine Pollution Bulletin 54(3), pp. 284-294.
Amindon, T. and Cosgrove Jr., J. (2006). Development of Nutrient TMDLS for the Raritan River Basin. TRC Omni Environmental Corporation.
Omni Environmental LLC, "Raritan River Nutrient Study" (2005)
Adams. D. A., Benyi, S., (2003). "Sediment Quality of the NY/NJ Harbor System: A 5-Year Revisit." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Region 2. EPA/092-R-03-002.
Adams. D. A., Benyi, S., (2003). "Appendices to the Sediment Quality Report on the NY/NJ Harbor System." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Region 2. EPA/092-R-03-002.
Haag, Gary H., (1982). "The Sedimentologic and Hydraulic Characteristics of the Raritan River in the Bound Brook Reach". Geology Program Thesis, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Dean, D., Haskin. H. H. (1964) "Benthic Repopulation of the Raritan River Estuary Following Pollution Abatement". Limnology and Oceanography. 9(4), pp. 551-563.
Remington, Vosbury & Goff. (1930). "Methods for the Abatement of Pollution of the Raritan River". Report to the Port Raritan District Commission.Camden, NJ.