Lincoln Park West Wetland Restoration

State TrusteeNew Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Restoration Types:

Education; Habitat Creation; Habitat Enhancement; Recreation


Affected DOI Resources:

Migratory Birds


Jersey City



Project Description

Lincoln Park is a large urban park located in Jersey City, NJ. It is a part of the Hudson County Park System and is bisected by U.S. Route 1/9 Truck into two distinct sections: Lincoln Park West and Lincoln Park East. The wetland restoration area along the Hackensack River in Lincoln Park West historically functioned as a salt marsh but had long been invaded by common reeds (Phragmites). A concrete bulkhead along the northern section of the marsh had prevented tidal flushing, except in areas where the bulkhead had deteriorated. A 10-acre manmade lake, named West Lake, had been connected to the river by a buried, 36-inch diameter culvert that allowed limited tidal exchange when not obstructed by mud and sediment. A 30-acre unregulated landfill was located immediately to the north of the restoration area. Though it had not accepted solid waste after 1982, the landfill was not properly closed and capped until the early 2010s. This restoration project consisted of the removal of approximately 267,000 cubic yards of solid waste from the adjacent landfill and the excavation and backfilling of the marsh with two feet of clean fill to create a clean substrate for wetland and open water areas. The fill material used was sand dredged from a nearby U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority NY NJ) harbor anchorage project. It was transported by ship and pumped into a confined dewatering facility that was built on-site. The site elevation had been lowered and graded to restore the tidal hydrology of the wetland. Tidal channels were excavated to maintain a tidal connection to West Lake and a weir was constructed to allow lake levels to remain stable. Approximately 100,000 native wetland and upland plants were planted throughout the marsh, along the perimeter of the lake, and in the transitional zone between the wetland and upland areas. Nature trails with educational signage were also constructed to provide recreational opportunities for the local community including walking, biking, birding, and fishing. The $17 million of funding for this project came from multiple sources including $2.3 million from the B.T. Nautilus and Exxon Bayway oil spill natural resource damage settlements, $10.6 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal and Marine Habitat Funds under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009, and other settlements from natural resource injuries in the Newark Bay Watershed provided by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

Restoration Land Ownership

County or Municipal

Parties Implementing Restoration

Hudson County Department of Parks and Recreation; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; NOAA; US Army Corps of Engineers

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

A weir was constructed to allow water levels to remain stable in West Lake while allowing an influx of saltwater at high tide., Credit: Steve Luell, USFWS

Channels were excavated to restore the tidal hydrology of the marsh., Credit: Steve Luell, USFWS

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