Restoration of the Historic Pier at Fort Mott State Park

State TrusteeNew Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Case Name:


United States of America

Restoration Types:

Cultural; Education; Recreation


Affected DOI Resources:

Recreational Use Loss





Project Description

Fort Mott State Park is located along the eastern bank of the Delaware River in Pennsville, NJ. Due to its strategic position near the mouth of the river, the federal government purchased Pea Patch Island and several acres of land at Finn's Point, NJ during the 1800s to develop coastal defenses to protect the cities of Philadelphia, PA, Camden, NJ, and Wilmington, DE from naval attack. Fort Delaware was erected on Pea Patch Island between 1848 and 1860, and served as a camp for Confederate prisoners of war (POWs) during the American Civil War. A wharf and pier were built at Finn's Point to transport equipment, guards, and POWs to the island fort. In 1872, construction began on the Battery at Finn's Point but was stopped four years later due to a lack of funding. Construction began again in 1896 to develop an Endicott-era fortification, and it was renamed in honor of Major General Gershom Mott of Burlington, NJ, who served with distinction in the Mexican and Civil Wars. Along with Fort Delaware and Fort DuPont across the river near Delaware City, DE, Fort Mott became a part of the Harbor Defenses of the Delaware. Troops were stationed at Fort Mott until 1922 when it was largely considered obsolete due to advances in military technology. The U.S. Army maintained a caretaking detachment at the fort until 1943. The State of New Jersey acquired the fort in 1947 and Fort Mott State Park opened to the public in June 1951. Over the years, the pier had become derelict. Using funds from the M/V Presidente Rivera oil spill, the historic pier at Fort Mott was rehabilitated to increase and enhance public access to the river. Since the project was completed in 1997, the pier is used as a seasonal ferry terminal connecting Fort Mott to Forts Delaware and DuPont, now state parks operated and maintained by the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation. In addition, the pier is also a popular spot for birdwatching and fishing.

Restoration Land Ownership


Parties Implementing Restoration

Delaware River and Bay Authority; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

The Civil War-era pier at Fort Mott State Park was restored using funds from the M/V Presidente Rivera oil spill settlement., Credit: Steve Luell, USFWS

Passengers use the pier at Fort Mott to access the ferry to Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island and Fort DuPont State Park in Delaware City, DE., Credit: Steve Luell, USFWS

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Restoration Documents

Document NameDocument Date
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