MERI Measurement of Tidal Wetlands Impairments for Acquisition and Enhancement Workshop

  • Location: 2 DeKorte Park Plaza Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

On June 17, 2016 the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) hosted the Measurement of Tidal Wetlands Impairments for Acquisition and Enhancement workshop, a study that was sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The workshop was held at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Headquarters in Lyndhurst, NJ and was attended by federal and NJ state officials as well as environmental professionals and NGO’s. After the workshop participants took a boat tour of the Meadowlands. Presentations were made by the following participants:


  • Francisco Artigas, MERI. Opening Comments and Conclusion
  • Ross Feltes, NJSEA. Institutional Perspective
  • Claus Holzapfel, Rutgers University. Patterns of Diversity in Urban Tidal Marshes
  • Sal Kojak, MERI. Topography and Hydrology
  • Ildiko Pechmann, MERI. Hyperspectral Image Classification and Habitat Fragmentation

epa workshop

New Jersey Soil Science Workshop

  • Location: 103 College Farm Road New Brunswick, NJ

On Thursday, June 9, 2016 Dr. Francisco Artigas represented the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) at the New Jersey Soil Science Workshop. The workshop was sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture and held at Rutgers University–New Brunswick Cook Campus. Dr. Artigas presented information on the Meadowlands and the state of its soil which included analysis of marsh surface elevation and accretion rate of change. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together USDA-NRCS soil survey cooperators and others involved in soil science in the NJ area for updates on products, services, and activities.

Soil Conference

MERI 2016 Summer Interns

  • Location: 2 DeKorte Plaza Lyndhurst, NJ 07071

The Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) is proud to announce its 2016 summer interns. Interns started after Memorial Day weekend and will work until their respective fall semesters begin. Interning in the MERI laboratory is Danielle Heaney who attends Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Lauren Beglin of Fordham University, together they are analyzing PCB and heavy metal levels in the soil at the Secaucus High School Marsh. Interning in the MERI office is Ithaca College student Calvin Yohannan who is aiding Dr. Francisco Artigas with various projects including the EPA sponsored Benthic Biodiversity and Benthic Pollutant Loads grant.

Alexander Cid and Rachel Amasah-Dsani are spending the summer at the MERI through the Rutgers University – Newark Dynamic Urban Environmental Systems and Sustainability research experience program. Alexander Cid attends Hudson County Community College and is engaged in heavy metal analysis in sediment in the vicinity of tide gates. Rachel Amasah-Dsani is enrolled at Union County College and is analyzing cations and anions from pore water in sediment’s. Alex and Rachel will conclude their internships with an end of the summer presentation where they will present their findings.

Summer Intern Austin Hong

  • Location: 2 De Korte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst NJ 07071

Austin Hong is a junior at Georgetown University and is at MERI for the summer examining N2O flux across several wetland variables including; elevation, surface type, and pore water quality. N2O emissions are powerful contributors to the greenhouse effect and may increase in wetland environments in response to both climate change and planned resilience strategies. Hong’s goal’s are to better understand the timing and conditions that facilitate N2O emissions in the wetlands, as well as to pilot the sampling and testing methods for larger, long-term MERI projects studying greenhouse gas flux. The flux chambers Hong is using to collect his samples are located at the Secaucus High School Marsh.


picture of austin


New Jersey Water Monitoring Council

  • Location: Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association

On May 19, 2016 the Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association hosted the New Jersey Water Monitoring Council. The Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) was invited to present on geospatial tools for monitoring tidal wetlands in the Hackensack Meadowlands. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together wetland and water quality experts to report and discuss on the state of the New Jersey surface waters and wetlands and what steps can be taken to further the knowledge and improvement of these areas.

water conference doc

GIS presentations at the New Jersey County Planners Association (NJCPA) meeting 2016


The New Jersey County Planners Association (NJCPA) hosted its regular meeting on February 19, 2016 at Thompson Park Visitor Center in Lincroft, NJ. Dom Elefante of MERI, illustrated the life cycle of a development permit from a GIS planning perspective. His presentation highlighted how permit tracking software and GIS are used to find property records and identify potential environmental constraints in the form of riparian claims and  proximity to wetlands.


Emergency Management Tools and Water Level Alert System, presented at the Planning Tools Expo organized by the NJ Chapter American Planning Association



A planning tools expo organized by the New Jersey Planning Association was held on January 28, 2016 in New Brunswick; planners and other officials from State, County and education were present to share information about new tools for planning, transportation and emergency management.  Dom Elefante, GIS Administrator from MERI presented the NJSEA Emergency Response Information System (ERIS) and water level alerts. These tools which benefit NJSEA municipalities, specifically First Responders of the 14-member municipalities include among others:  on-the-fly access to Right-to-Know information pertaining to storage of hazardous chemicals in warehouses, fire-fighting pre-plan forms, fire incident reports,  floor plans of critical facilities and water elevation alerts.





MERI Awarded EPA FY15-16 Grant


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded funding to the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) to conduct research within the Meadowlands District .

Meri will measure the exchange rate of carbon dioxide and nitrogen gases in marshlands that receive tidal waters of different levels of salinity.  These factors influence the natural storage of carbon and release of greenhouse gases from wetlands.  Over the next 3 years MERI will receive $511,381.00 in federal funding for research that will  inform decisions for wetland preservation and mitigation in the NJ Meadowlands.


MERI GIS hosts New Jersey Geospatial Forum


More than 70 federal, state, county and municipal GIS professionals from all over the State of New Jersey/New York, along with professionals from private firms attended The New Jersey Geospatial Forum. The NJ GeoForum is a meeting place for the discussion of questions and issues related to the acquisition, management and communication of spatial information; a meeting meant to foster collaboration among GIS practitioners. The meeting was hosted by MERI and held at the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority campus on 9/18/15. Presentations were provided by the following members:


  • Francisco Artigas, MERI. Communicating Geographically in the Meadowlands: A GIS Perspective
  • Jason Bottcher, Hudson County. Utilizing ArcGIS Online for Government
  • Gabrielle Fausel & Nick Hutton, NJTPA/ Baker International. NJTPA Asset Management Data Model.
  • Steve Romalewski, CUNY. Online Mapping Notes from the Other Side of the Hudson.

MERI-GIS maps provide site information for emergency response situations


MERI GIS is assisting members of the East Rutherford Police Department in creating detailed building floor plan maps of the town’s critical facilities. These maps provide the East Rutherford Police important information for emergency response situations. With the police department’s help, the MERI-GIS team is constructing maps highlighting building access points and other features that will help officers and responders quickly navigate these buildings in case of an emergency.