New Jersey Meadowlands

New Jersey Meadowlands
Meadowlands seen from Route 7, showing at least four different species of waterfowl
Marshlands in Lyndhurst
Meadowlands Environment Center
Mill Creek Point walkway

New Jersey Meadowlands, also known as the Hackensack Meadowlands after the primary river flowing through it, is a general name for the large ecosystem of wetlands in northeast New Jersey in the United States. The Meadowlands are known for being the site of large landfills and decades of environmental abuse. The Meadowlands stretch mainly along the terminus of the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers as they flow into Newark Bay; tributaries of the Hackensack include Sawmill Creek, Berrys Creek, and Overpeck Creek. The Meadowlands consist of roughly 8,400 acres (34 km²) of open, undeveloped space in addition to developed areas that previously were part of the natural wetlands. The area includes portions of Kearny, Jersey City, North Arlington, Secaucus, Lyndhurst, Rutherford, East Rutherford, Carlstadt, North Bergen, Moonachie, Ridgefield, and Little Ferry.


Human impact

Before European settlement, the area consisted of several diverse eco-systems based on fresh-, brackish-, and saltwater environments. Large areas were covered by forests. Considered by residents of the area through the centuries as "wastelands," the Meadowlands were systematically subject to various kinds of human intervention. The four major categories are:[1]

  • Extraction of natural resources (including fish and game). Farmers also harvested salt hay for feed. Over time, the resources were either depleted or contaminated by pollution.
  • Alteration of water flow
  • Reclamation, land making, and development. In addition to landfill from garbage, landmass generated from dredging was also used to create new land.
  • Pollution by sewage, refuse, and hazardous waste: various types of waste have been dumped legally and illegally in the Meadowlands. During World War II, refuse generated by the military during the war was dumped in the Meadowlands, including rubble from London created by the Battle of Britain used as ballast in returning ships. After the war, the Meadowlands continued to be used for civilian waste disposal, as the marshes were seen simply as wastelands that were not good for anything else. The opening of the New Jersey Turnpike in January 1952 only amplified the continuing environmental decline of the Meadowlands, as both spurs of the Turnpike travel through the region from the Passaic River to just past North Bergen.

The Meadowlands Sports Complex with stadia and a race track is also in the Meadowlands.

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission

The location of the New Jersey Meadowlands near the New York metropolitan area and its outgrowth into New Jersey makes conservation of the vast wetland a difficult proposition. In spite of this, the New Jersey Legislature, led by Richard W. DeKorte, created the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission (since renamed New Jersey Meadowlands Commission) in 1968 to attempt to address both economic and environmental issues concerning the wetland region. Even under grave environmental circumstances, the Meadowlands contain many species of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks and is considered to be an important bird habitat.

Money from the United States Congress has been allocated to protect and preserve the Meadowlands and establish organizations to research the unique animals and their interaction with the ecosystem. The ecosystem is a fragile environment that waterfowl and other species of animals need. Richard W. DeKorte Park in the Meadowlands is known for bird watching, particularly for migratory waterfowl.[2]

See also


External links

Coordinates: 40°48′57″N 74°02′23″W / 40.815888°N 74.039612°W / 40.815888; -74.039612

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • New Jersey Meadowlands Commission — Agency overview Formed 1969 Jurisdiction New Jersey Meadowlands Headquarters 1 DeKorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Agency executives …   Wikipedia

  • New Jersey — New Jerseyite /jerr zee uyt /, New Jerseyan. a state in the E United States, on the Atlantic coast. 7,364,158; 7836 sq. mi. (20,295 sq. km). Cap.: Trenton. Abbr.: NJ (for use with zip code), N.J. * * * State (pop., 2000: 8,414,350), eastern U.S.… …   Universalium

  • New Jersey Devils — 2011–12 New Jersey Devils season Conference …   Wikipedia

  • New-Jersey — State of New Jersey …   Wikipédia en Français

  • New jersey — State of New Jersey …   Wikipédia en Français

  • New Jersey Devils — Ciudad Newark, New Jersey Conferencia Conferencia del Este División División Atlantica Fundación 1974 …   Wikipedia Español

  • New Barbadoes Township, New Jersey — New Barbadoes Township was a township that was formed in 1710 and existed in its largest extent in pre American Revolutionary War times in Bergen County, New Jersey. The Township was created from territories that had been part of Essex County… …   Wikipedia

  • New Jersey — This article is about the U.S. state of New Jersey. For other uses, see New Jersey (disambiguation). NJ redirects here. For other uses, see Nj (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • New Jersey Route 3 — NJ 3 redirects here. NJ 3 may also refer to New Jersey s 3rd congressional district. Route 3 Secaucus Bypass …   Wikipedia

  • Jersey City, New Jersey — City of Jersey City   City   Skyline of Downtown Jersey City …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”