Wetland Restoration and Public Access Improvements at Cramer Hill Waterfront Park

State TrusteeNew Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Case Name:


United States of America

Restoration Types:

Education; Habitat Creation; Habitat Enhancement; Recreation


Affected DOI Resources:

Migratory Birds; Recreational Use Loss





Project Description

The Harrison Avenue Landfill in the Cramer Hill neighborhood of Camden, NJ was an 86-acre unregulated municipal landfill located adjacent to the confluence of the Cooper and Delaware Rivers. The landfill operated from approximately 1952 until 1971 but was never officially closed or capped. For almost 50 years, the abandoned landfill was subjected to illegal dumping. In 2018, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) began to formally close and cap the landfill. Once that was completed, the cap was covered with two feet of clean fill and work began to transform the former site into a 62-acre park. Cramer Hill Waterfront Park officially opened to the public on November 30, 2021. Using the remaining settlement funds from the M/V Presidente Rivera oil spill, degraded wetland and shoreline areas were restored at the new park. This included enhancing the existing ecosystem by constructing approximately seven acres of tidal freshwater wetlands, and creating three living shoreline areas along the back channel of the Delaware River. Coir logs and biodegradable erosion control matting were installed to create 12-inch terraces along the shoreline for riparian zone plantings. Bald eagle foraging habitat was enhanced by preserving mature trees near the river, and a 10-inch layer of sand overlain by a thin layer of gravel and cobble was added to unvegetated areas of the stream channels to create habitat for fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, and freshwater mussels. In addition to seeding, over 375,000 native herbaceous plants, trees, and shrubs were planted throughout the park. A concrete launch for canoes and kayaks was also constructed along a 1,000-foot long meandering channel providing public access to the Cooper River at all tides.

Restoration Land Ownership

County or Municipal

Parties Implementing Restoration

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

Tree and shrub plantings near the confluence of the Cooper and Delaware Rivers in May 2020., Credit: NJDEP

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New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office

4 East Jimmie Leeds Road, Suite 4, Galloway, NJ 08205 | (609) 383-3938 | http://www.fws.gov/northeast/njfieldoffice/

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