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A white crane wades in the Passaic River in New Jersey. Chemical tanks line the shore behind it.

Draft Restoration Plan Released, Proposing Riverfront Park Project Along the Lower Passaic River

December 22, 2020

NOAA and the Department of the Interior/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—federal trustees leading parts of the assessment and restoration of hazardous waste sites along the Lower Passaic River—released a draft early restoration plan and environmental assessment for public comment. The plan includes an early restoration project, supported by one of the companies potentially responsible for some of the pollution in the area. 

Public comment will be accepted for 30 days through January 22, 2021.

The project’s proponent proposes to build a 5-acre park along the Lower Passaic River in East Newark, New Jersey. The park is anticipated to include forest habitat, pollinator gardens, native grasslands, and wetlands. It also includes a plan for a new elevated walkway for public access to the Passaic River shoreline. 

The planned park is in a historically underserved area that was impacted by the hazardous substance releases from various industrial facilities in the area.The trustees are encouraged by the environmental justice benefits that could come from the new park and public access to the waterfront for nearby communities that lack greenspace. 

The proposed park also provides significant environmental and recreational benefits that are lacking in dense urban cities, including: 

  • Meadow and wetland areas
  • An elevated walkway over water along the Passaic River
  • Trees and shrubs
  • Pervious recreational paths that also allow stormwater to flow through
  • Opportunity for future kayak and small boat launch 

The plan also calls for funding for operations and maintenance for the project for 30 years. 

The draft early restoration plan is available for public comment for 30 days through January 22, 2021. Please submit your comments:

  • Via mail to:
    Clay Stern
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    4 E. Jimmie Leeds Road, Suite 4
    Galloway, New Jersey 08205
  • Via email to: Clay Stern at 

NOAA and the Department of the Interior will review and consider all public comments and input on the draft plan and environmental assessment.  Comments received, and Trustee responses to these comments, will be included in a final early restoration plan.

Additional questions can be directed to Rich Takacs, at