On The Eve Of Earth Day, Menendez Announces Over $20 Million For The Environmental Restoration Of Liberty State Park

On The Eve Of Earth Day, Menendez Announces Over $20 Million For The Environmental Restoration Of Liberty State Park

Joined by environmentalists, and surrounded by spectacular views of Liberty State Park, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Sen. Menendez touts benefits to New Jersey residents

Jersey City - Today, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez announced the authorization of $20,800,000 in federal funding for the environmental restoration of 234 acres of Liberty State Park. The project, that will connect this fenced-off portion of the popular public recreation area to the grounds, will not only bring enjoyment to visitors, it will restore tidal and freshwater wetlands, as well as coastal grasslands and woodlands, preserving the environment for future generations of New Jerseyans. The project will be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

"This project will create a gorgeous part of the park and an important restoration for the environment," said Senator Menendez "I am very pleased to secure the authorization of these federal funds so that we no longer have to see this portion of Liberty State Park in poor condition. The restoration of the 234 acres clearly seen from Liberty Science Center will not only greatly enhance the enjoyment of park visitors; it will beautify the area in close proximity to the museum, affording it the surroundings it deserves. Children who visit the area will not only benefit from what they learn at the Science Center today, they will benefit from an environmentally preserved area that will promote their health and wellbeing."

Liberty State Park, comprised of more than 1100 acres, was once magnificent coastal marshlands that was filled with construction debris and refuse in the latter part of the 19th century to create an urban rail yard used by the CRRNJ, which went bankrupt in 1969. The State of New Jersey was able to purchase the land and turn it into an urban waterfront park with facilities that include 25 structures, 5.3 miles of roads, and ferry service to Manhattan and Staten Island. However, these approximately 250 acres adjacent to the Liberty Science Center have remained undeveloped and fenced-off from the rest of the recreational facilities.

"Liberty State Park is an extraordinary public resource," said Lisa Jackson, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. "The restoration of this portion of the park will culminate more than 30 years of planning; providing public recreation and protection of its unique ecosystem."

The $20,800,000 authorized in federal funding, in addition to $12 million in non-federal funds, will allow for the restoration of tidal wetlands, enhancement of existing freshwater wetlands, development and enhancement of coastal grassland and woodland, and the preservation of the moss matt community that has developed in the vicinity of existing fresh water wetlands.

Liberty state park is one of the most spectacular open spaces New Jersey has to offer and these federal funds will not only enhance its beauty, they will guarantee that future generations enjoy a space that is environmentally safe," said Congressman Albio Sires. "I look forward to the completion of this project so not only residents of the 13th 9ongressional District enjoy it, visitors from other parts of the Garden State and New Yorkers will enjoy it as well."

The funding will also open up this area of the park for the enjoyment of the almost 5 million visitors that each flock here to enjoy the grounds, look at the spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Manhattan skyline, listen to the yearly Jazz festival and celebrate our nation's Freedom every 4th of July.

"In partnership with the state of New Jersey, it is our pleasure to continue in the development and restoration of Liberty State Park in support of this very successful estuarine habitat restoration project," said Col. Nello Tortora, the commander of the Army Corps' New York District.