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Conservation Program

Conservation PhotoBaykeeper’s conservation program preserves remaining wildlife habitat in the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary through land acquisition, innovation planning, and ecological restoration. Since 1989, Baykeeper and its partners have preserved and restored over three thousand acres of critical habitat in the midst of one of the most industrialized and busy ports in the world.

Why Is Protecting Open Space Important?

The NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Region is home to 20 million people and hundreds of bird, fish and wildlife species.  Thus, preserving the natural habitat and open space is essential  in this heavily developed area.  Open space is essential to our future because it protects water supplies, improves water quality, protects flood prone areas, and creates and improves parks for generations to use for years to come.

Conservation Successes 

  • In 2015, Baykeeper and partners fought to acquire a new 250 acre Monmouth County Park in Aberdeen Township, NJ. Learn more here.
  • In 2005, Baykeeper and its allies won a 15 year fight to protect hundreds of acres of prime habitat in the Meadowlands – one of the organization’s greatest victories
  • Initiated interior restoration of the 250-acre natural restoration project at Liberty State Park in Jersey City
  • Completed natural restoration at Lincoln Park in Hudson County, NJ
  • Added land to the Cheesequake State Park to buffer and enlarge
  • Land additions to Hudson County’s Laurel Hill Park
  • Dismal Swamp in Middlesex County
  • Essex County’s Passaic River Waterfront Park
  • Bloomfield’s proactive floodplain buyout
  • Waackaack Creek Greenway
  • Natural restoration of Lincoln Park West in Jersey City

Partners include the Port Authority of NY/NJ, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, the NJDEP’s Green Acres Program, Office of Natural Resource Restoration, and Parks and Forestry Programs, and Conservation Resources, Inc.

Current Issues:

Restoration of the Interior of Liberty State Park

Lower Raritan River Map

This map offers a first-ever vision of sustainable redevelopment of the Lower Raritan River, offering  a complete picture of 13 miles of the river from New Brunswick to the Raritan Bay. The map harnesses the power of the visual to showcase the extraordinary natural aspects of the River, the legacy contamination from its industrial past, and a path forward toward cleaning and restoring the Lower River. The map also highlights the outstanding opportunities for sustainable redevelopment on the Lower Raritan River. If done correctly, these redevelopment projects will lead to both a healthy environment and a robust regional economy.

Baykeeper believes that sustainable redevelopment is one of the keys to the future of Lower Raritan River because it provides the best opportunity to clean up longstanding contamination while preserving key habitat that exists within larger tracts of developable land. The map features the Keasbey (Woodbridge) Redevelopment Area as a prime example of how the environment and the economy can thrive simultaneously when progressive business leaders, elected officials, conservationists and the public work together. The map also shows what, from Baykeeper’s perspective, are misguided, ecologically destructive redevelopments like at the former National Lead site in Sayreville.

The map serves as both a visual guide and illustrated best practices guide to redevelopment for developers, local governments, residents, conservationists, and philanthropists. Click here to view the map as a PDF.

The Rutgers University Center for Urban Environmental Sustainability (CUES) created the map and the Edison Wetlands Association provided funding through a Supplemental Environmental Project, in addition to providing technical assistance.

NY/NJ Baykeeper’s Conservation Program successes are made possible by our funders:

Victoria Foundation

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation