National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Richard Spinrad, Ph.D visited Hoboken yesterday to discuss the upcoming boat removal at Weehawken Cove.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The project, funded in part by an over $235,000 NOAA grant, will remove 14 sunken boats and marine debris from Weehawken Cove as part of the city’s efforts to restore the local ecosystem and create a living shoreline.
“Our waterfront is the crown jewel of our city and we are glad to beautify it by removing abandoned boats that have been an eyesore for too long,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla said in a statement.
“Thank you to Dr. Spinrad and NOAA for their continued support as we remove hazards from our Cove and restore wildlife habitats within the Hudson River.”
The 24-month long project begins this spring with the removal of all known abandoned and derelict vessels in the Hudson River estuary, which have the potential to release harmful metals and chemicals, such as oil and mercury, as well as plastics and fiberglass into the water as they deteriorate.
“Abandoned and derelict vessels threaten our ocean and coasts by obstructing navigation, damaging sensitive habitats, and diminishing commercial and recreational activities,” added Spinrad.
“This project is a clear example of how removing hazardous marine debris supports coastal resilience and the blue economy, and I am pleased that our funding is being leveraged to improve resilience in the City of Hoboken and the Hudson River Estuary.”
Once the vessels have been removed, the city will repair the 16th Street bulkhead, launch a public education campaign to help prevent future boat abandonment, and create a living shoreline.
These efforts are funded in partnership with the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Green Acres program with the assistance of Riverkeeper and the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program.
The project is part of the City’s comprehensive approach to upgrade the waterfront.
In the next 24 months, the City will move forward with the creation of Cove Park at 15th and Garden Streets as part of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Rebuild by Design project.
The new park will include above ground amenities to protect the City from flooding caused by storm surge events, such as Superstorm Sandy.