In May, Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signed a Chief’s Report, which recommends 20 ecosystem restoration projects throughout the New York and New Jersey Harbor Estuary. The Hudson Raritan Estuary (HRE) Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study is now eligible for congressional authorization.
The Corps New York District and multiple non-federal sponsors began six concurrent ecosystem restoration feasibility studies in the 1990s and early 2000s that focused on the restoration of different areas of the harbor estuary. To streamline parallel efforts and maximize efficiencies, the six feasibility studies were combined into a larger comprehensive study for the estuary – the HRE Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.
The recommended plan includes restoration at 20 individual project locations that will restore a mosaic of 621 acres of habitat that will reduce long-term and large-scale degradation in the Hudson Raritan Estuary. The plan includes:
- Restoration of approximately 381 acres of estuarine wetland habitat (Restoration of 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.
The Chief’s Report will now undergo further review by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and Office of Management and Budget before formal submittal to Congress.