Richard P. Kane Wildlife Area (Carlstadt, NJ)
Site/Location: Some 217 acres located in the shadow of Metlife Stadium, and in close proximity to Manhattan, residing within the Hackensack Meadowlands as the largest wetland bank in New Jersey.
History/Situation: This incredible natural resource had been cut of from the tidal influence of the Hackensack River by human-made berms and tide gates constructed in the early 1900’s.
Abatement Considerations: Before restoration, the wetlands were littered with debris and dominated by invasive vegetation, which limited wildlife habitat and public enjoyment. Because of its degradation, this natural treasure was threatened by development and subjection to more encroachment. We were tasked with remediation that would re-establish marsh’s wildlife and plant habitats and their natural ability to absorb floodwaters to help reduce pollution. What was needed was nothing less than a major construction project to permanently re-established the hydrologic flow.
EFG’s Role: EnviroFinance Group, LLC (EFG) managed the remediation and restoration of the property, working closely under a public/private land redevelopment project with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Meadowlands Conservation Trust. The Kane project combined freshwater wetland restoration and tidally influenced wetland restoration using innovative techniques such as removing tidal blockages, creating new channels, lowering existing pipeline utilities, and establishing the targeted marsh elevations designed for successful low marsh and mudflats.
Community Benefit/Current Status: The Richard P. Kane Wetland Mitigation Bank has restored environmentally priceless, sensitive wetlands in Carlstadt and South Hackensack. This has re-established high value wildlife and plant habitats and enhanced the wetlands’ natural functions and services, such as improving water quality, supporting a diverse fisheries and wildlife population, and providing opportunities for public education, recreation, and opportunities for ecotourism. The berm designed to minimize wetland impacts, provides adjacent landowners with protection against flooding. The restored wetlands provides habitat for a wide variety of wetland-dependent and terrestrial wildlife species (fish, crabs, insects and birds). And it’s designed to be self-sustaining (biologists are already seeing the effects of the restoration with native species populating the site). It will also provide Wetland Mitigation Credits that can be used by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) to offset wetland impacts from critical transportation projects.
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