The Hackensack Meadowlands Initiative
New Jersey Field Office
     
 
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The Hackensack Meadowlands is the largest brackish estuarine complex in the
New York – New Jersey Harbor Estuary and among the largest in the northeastern United States. The Meadowlands supports remarkable biodiversity. Using the Meadowlands are more than 275 species of plants, 115 species of invertebrates, 45 species of fish, 25 species of amphibians and reptiles, 332 species of birds, 24 species of mammals, and approximately 25 State-listed species, and 42 species considered rare or uncommon in the urban core. Yet, over the last 150 years, industry and development have filled in well over half of the area’s original 21,000 acres, polluting its lands and waters. Invasive exotic species, environmental contaminants, and water quality are major issues confronting the successful restoration of the Meadowlands.

In response to Congressional direction, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed this document, titled The Hackensack Meadowlands Initiative: Preliminary Conservation Planning, to promote successful clean-up and restoration projects and to encourage the critical and much-needed support of other regional activities (e.g. , water-supply, sewage-treatment, and flood-control planning). Successfully cleaning up and restoring the Meadowlands and integrating those actions with other regional planning will not only help protect the region’s fish and wildlife but will also provide recreational and educational opportunities for the 20 million residents in the surrounding metropolitan area.

 

The Hackensack Meadowlands Initiative: Preliminary Conservation Planning was prepared by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide a foundation for enhancement and restoration of the Hackensack Meadowlands in Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey and to promote a vision for the Meadowlands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s vision includes:
(1) a more natural estuarine ecosystem with healthy fish and wildlife resources;
(2) a cleaner environment (progressive reduction in acute and chronic contaminant effects);
(3) diverse wetland and associated communities that sustain local and regional populations of native species, including federal trust fish and wildlife resources; and
(4) public commitment to and diverse social benefits from the Meadowlands.

To attain this vision, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s overall goal for the Meadowlands is to sustain and safeguard the Meadowlands ecosystem, including its fish and wildlife resources. This goal will be achieved through conservation partnerships to remediate, enhance, restore, manage, and protect the Meadowlands ecosystem. The Plan also identifies key principles, drawn from federal policies and other guidance, to guide and carry out habitat restoration activities. The Plan provides a historical overview of the region, describes the ecosystem and its biodiversity, identifies priority threats to the Meadowlands, and recommends objectives and future conservation actions.

 

The Hackensack Meadowlands Initiative:
Preliminary Conservation Planning
Prepared by:
New Jersey Field Office
March 2007
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Chapters Listed Below
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THE HACKENSACK MEADOWLANDS INITIATIVE

CONTACT INFORMATION: PARTNERS page ii

THE MISSION OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE page iii

ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT page iv

DEDICATION AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS page v

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY page vii

TABLE OF CONTENTS page xi

LIST OF FIGURES page xxi

LIST OF TABLES page xxv

LIST OF APPENDICES page xxvii

I. THE HACKENSACK MEADOWLANDS INITIATIVE   page 5
II. HUMAN USE HISTORY page 31
III. NATURAL HISTORY  page 53
IV. HYDROLOGY AND CONTAMINANTS  page 111
V. WETLAND  AND UPLAND LAND USE  page 151
VI. INVASIVE AND EXOTIC SPECIES  page 191
VII. RESOURCE OBJECTIVES  page 213
VIII. RESEARCH AND EDUCATION  page 243
IX. PUBLIC ACCESS AND RECREATION  page 257
X. RESTORATION PLANNING AND COORDINATION  page 269
XI. RECOMMENDATIONS  page 291
XII. CONCLUSIONS page 307
XIII. REFERENCES page 315
XIV. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS, FOREIGN EXPRESSIONS, AND UNITS OF MEASURE  page 391
XV. GLOSSARY   page 395
XVI. LIST OF COMMON AND SCIENTIFIC NAMES  page 409
XVII. PREPARERS AND REVIEWERS  page 421
XVIII. EPILOGUE  page 423
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Last updated: July 28, 2011
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