Kearny Freshwater Marsh

Category: Candidate Restoration/Preservation Sites Kearny Freshwater Marsh

Location: Bordered to the north by the New Jersey Transit – Boonton Line, to the south by a freight line and the west by Keegan Landfill, in Kearny, Hudson County.

Latitude/Longitude: 40.75956/-74.12746

Current Land Use: Freshwater wetland

Size:  279 acres

Current Ownership: NJMC

Site Description: The Kearny Freshwater Marsh is a freshwater impoundment, adjacent to the Keegan Landfill at its southwestern corner. Over the years, the productivity of the marsh has declined as a result of rising water levels within the marsh itself. Additionally, leachate from the Keegan Landfill and runoff from the surrounding areas have resulted in increased contaminant levels throughout the surface sediments. The current conceptual restoration plan includes the re-establishment of emergent vegetation by managing water levels and stemming erosion, removal and disposal of contaminated surface soils, closure of the Keegan Landfill (a source of leachate), and installation of a water control structure and/or pumping station to manage water levels.

Existing Site-Specific Data Inventory

A. Survey, Maps, and GIS

HMD regional data exists inclusive of this site. General, baseline data was collected for a 1989 EIS. Topography information for a portion of the site is available in a 1998 Keegan Landfill study.

B. Real Estate/Ownership

Owned by NJMC. Acquisition data available from the NJMC website.

C. Site History & Land Use

General site information available from the 1978 Meadowlands Management Plan and a 1989 EIS. Site -specific data from 1978, 1982, and 1988 reports.

D. Biological Studies – Fauna

A variety of studies have been completed ranging from a 1978 bird survey to a 2003 macroinvertebrate biodiversity assessment.

E. Biological Studies – General Environmental

A variety of studies have been completed, dating from 1978 to 2003.

F. Geotechnical

No data obtained.

G. Hydraulics and Hydrology

No data obtained.

H. Water and Sediments

A variety of water and sediment quality studies were completed between 1999 and 2003.

I. Historical/Cultural Resources

General baseline data collected for 1989 EIS.

J. Restoration/Remediation Design Plans

A draft wetland mitigation plan was proposed in 1998.

Site Reports

Site #16 – Kearny Freshwater Marsh

Category: Candidate Restoration/Preservation Sites

Location: Bordered to the north by the New Jersey Transit – Boonton Line, to the south by a freight line and the west by Keegan Landfill, in Kearny, Hudson County.

Latitude/Longitude: 40.75956 / -74.12746

Current Land Use: Freshwater wetland

Size: 279 acres

Current Ownership: NJMC

Site Description: The Kearny Freshwater Marsh is a freshwater impoundment, adjacent to the Keegan Landfill at its southwestern corner. Over the years, the productivity of the marsh has declined as a result of rising water levels within the marsh itself. Additionally, leachate from the Keegan Landfill and runoff from the surrounding areas have resulted in increased contaminant levels throughout the surface sediments. The current conceptual restoration plan includes the re-establishment of emergent vegetation by managing water levels and stemming erosion, removal and disposal of contaminated surface soils, closure of the Keegan Landfill (a source of leachate), and installation of a water control structure and/or pumping station to manage water levels.

Existing Site Specific Data Inventory

* – Report repeated under multiple data categories and/or sites.

A.  Survey, Maps, and GIS

Relevant survey, mapping, and GIS data for the Meadowlands can be found in the Meadowlands-wide site report under data category A.

1.      *Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. Land Use Feasibility Study Keegan Landfill, Kearny, New Jersey Final Report. July 1998. [1] Evaluates the development potential of the Keegan Landfill based on existing, available data. Includes a description of existing conditions, compiled through literature review. Reviews geology, subsurface hydrology, soils, water quality, wetlands (adjacent Kearny Freshwater Marsh), air quality, noise, and hazardous materials. Also reviews landfill closure regulations, funding, and methods.

2.      *Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Technical Reports for the Draft EIS and Section 4 (f) Evaluation, Boonton Line-Montclair Branch Corridor Study. 1989. [1a]The majority of this study area is located outside the HMD, except for a small section of the Kearny and Secaucus area, including the Kearny Freshwater Marsh site. Includes separate reports reviewing existing data on transportation, land use/socio-economics, air quality, noise/vibration, terrestrial/aquatic resources, community participation, and historical/cultural resources regarding the Boonton Line Montclair Branch Corridor.

B.   Real Estate/Ownership

Kearny Freshwater Marsh is owned by NJMC.

3.      NJMC. Kearny Freshwater Marsh Acquisition Information. September 2003.

(from http://www.hmdc.state.nj.us/eip/wl-kearnyf.html)

Date of Acquisition:    November 9, 1999

Cost of Acquisition:     $1,180,000

Acquired from:            Town of Kearny

C.  Site History & Land Use

4.      *Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. Land Use Feasibility Study Keegan Landfill, Kearny, New Jersey Final Report. July 1998. [1] Evaluates the development potential of the Keegan Landfill based on existing, available data. Includes a description of existing conditions, compiled through literature review. Reviews geology, subsurface hydrology, soils, water quality, wetlands (adjacent Kearny Freshwater Marsh), air quality, noise, and hazardous materials. Also reviews landfill closure regulations, funding, and methods.

5.      *HMDC. The Kearny Marsh: The Dynamics of a Young Freshwater Marsh in the Hackensack Meadowlands, A Basin Management Plan. May, 1982. [1] A basin management plan for Kearny Marsh that expanded on the ideas set forth in HMDC’s “Ecological and Resource Management Plan,” written in 1978. The plan also developed an understanding of what created and was changing Kearny Freshwater Marsh with regard to human disturbances, hydrology, vegetation, and wildlife. The plan also discusses the importance of marsh preservation, water quality, and water management.

6.      *Kane, Richard. Birds of the Kearny Marsh. Occasional Paper No. 135, New Jersey Audubon Vol. IV No. 5. Winter, 1978. [1] A paper detailing both specific avian and general site observations made by Richard Kane, Irving Black, and Don Smith as they recorded the numbers and species of birds inhabiting the Kearny Marsh in the 1970’s. The site’s deep water habitat created a productive wetland resource, attracting both resident and migratory water- and land-bird species.

7.      *Mattson, C. P. Ecological and Resource Management Plan for the Hackensack Meadowlands. Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission. 1978. [1a]Provides a synopsis of what the then eight-year old HMDC had learned about the Hackensack Estuary. Section 1 is an “ecological primer”, Section 2 provides information on the state of the estuary, and Section 3 presents natural resource management strategies for wetlands, water quality, open space, and land use planning.

8.      *Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Technical Reports for the Draft EIS and Section 4 (f) Evaluation, Boonton Line-Montclair Branch Corridor Study. 1989. [1a]The majority of this study area is located outside the HMD, except for a small section of the Kearny and Secaucus area, including the Kearny Freshwater Marsh site. Includes separate reports reviewing existing data on transportation, land use/socio-economics, air quality, noise/vibration, terrestrial/aquatic resources, community participation, and historical/cultural resources regarding the Boonton Line Montclair Branch Corridor.

D.  Biological Studies – Fauna

9.      *Bentivegna, C., S. Bugel, J. Alfano, & K. Czechowicz, Comparison of Sediment and Detritus Toxicity from a Heavy Metal Contaminated Freshwater Marsh. Abstracts of the Meadowlands Symposium. 2003. [1a] Sediment and detritus samples were collected from six sites in Kearny Marsh. Study included monitoring macroinvertebrates in situ, analyzing sediment chemistry, testing sediment and detritus toxicity with chironomids, and measuring heavy metal bioaccumulation

10.  *Bugel, S. & C. Bentivegna. Evaluating Macroinvertebrate Biodiversity in a New Jersey Freshwater Marsh. Abstracts of the Meadowlands Symposium. 2003. [1a] Six sites in Kearny Freshwater Marsh were sampled in June, August, and October of 2002 using dip net and Hester-Dendy samplers. Water quality parameters including pH, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen were measured concurrently. Results indicated that collection techniques and water quality parameters used in freshwater streams were not indicative of marsh ecosystem health.

11.  *HMDC. The Kearny Marsh: The Dynamics of a Young Freshwater Marsh in the Hackensack Meadowlands, A Basin Management Plan. May, 1982. [1] A basin management plan for Kearny Marsh that expanded on the ideas set forth in HMDC’s “Ecological and Resource Management Plan,” written in 1978. The plan also developed an understanding of what created and was changing Kearny Freshwater Marsh with regard to human disturbances, hydrology, vegetation, and wildlife. The plan also discusses the importance of marsh preservation, water quality, and water management.

12.  *Kane, Richard. Birds of the Kearny Marsh. Occasional Paper No. 135, New Jersey Audubon Vol. IV No. 5. Winter, 1978. [1] A paper detailing both specific avian and general site observations made by Richard Kane, Irving Black, and Don Smith as they recorded the numbers and species of birds inhabiting the Kearny Marsh in the 1970’s. The site’s deep water habitat created a productive wetland resource, attracting both resident and migratory water- and land-bird species.

13.  *Kane, Richard. Phragmites use by birds in New Jersey. NJ Audubon Society Magazine. Vol. XXVI, No. 4, pp. 122-123. Winter 2000-2001. [1a] Provides a list of birds that have been seen in common reed (Phragmites australis) – including 32 species that breed in Phragmites – with numerous references to the Hackensack Meadowlands, especially Kearny Marsh.

14.  *Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Technical Reports for the Draft EIS and Section 4 (f) Evaluation, Boonton Line-Montclair Branch Corridor Study. 1989. [1a]The majority of this study area is located outside the HMD, except for a small section of the Kearny and Secaucus area, including the Kearny Freshwater Marsh site. Includes separate reports reviewing existing data on transportation, land use/socio-economics, air quality, noise/vibration, terrestrial/aquatic resources, community participation, and historical/cultural resources regarding the Boonton Line Montclair Branch Corridor.

E.   Biological Studies – General Environmental

15.  *Cai, H. and Hahn, D. Assessing Microbial Indicators for Heavy Metal Contamination using Automated Image Analysis. MERI. 2002. [1a] Sediment and saltmarsh hay (Spartina patens) samples were collected at a site in Harrier Meadow in April, June and August 2000. The samples were analyzed for Ni, Cu, Cd, Cr, Pb, and Zn. Control samples of S. patens were grown in a greenhouse in Ni-amended and fungicide-treated soils. Plant uptake of Ni, Cu, Cd, Cr and Pb were compared among the samples. Sediment samples were also collected from Kearny Freshwater Marsh and the bacterial populations were analyzed.

16.  *Camp Dresser & McKee Inc. Land Use Feasibility Study Keegan Landfill, Kearny, New Jersey Final Report. July 1998. [1] Evaluates the development potential of the Keegan Landfill based on existing, available data. Includes a description of existing conditions, compiled through literature review. Reviews geology, subsurface hydrology, soils, water quality, wetlands (adjacent Kearny Freshwater Marsh), air quality, noise, and hazardous materials. Also reviews landfill closure regulations, funding, and methods.

17.  *HMDC. The Kearny Marsh: The Dynamics of a Young Freshwater Marsh in the Hackensack Meadowlands, A Basin Management Plan. May, 1982. [1] A basin management plan for Kearny Marsh that expanded on the ideas set forth in HMDC’s “Ecological and Resource Management Plan,” written in 1978. The plan also developed an understanding of what created and was changing Kearny Freshwater Marsh with regard to human disturbances, hydrology, vegetation, and wildlife. The plan also discusses the importance of marsh preservation, water quality, and water management.

18.  *Kane, Richard. Phragmites use by birds in New Jersey. NJ Audubon Society Magazine. Vol. XXVI, No. 4, pp. 122-123. Winter 2000-2001. [1a] Provides a list of birds that have been seen in common reed (Phragmites australis) – including 32 species that breed in Phragmites – with numerous references to the Hackensack Meadowlands, especially Kearny Marsh.

19.  *Mattson, C. P. Ecological and Resource Management Plan for the Hackensack Meadowlands. Hackensack Meadowlands Development Corporation. 1978. [1a]Provides a synopsis of what the then eight-year old HMDC had learned about the Hackensack Estuary. Section 1 is an “ecological primer”, Section 2 provides information on the state of the estuary, and Section 3 presents natural resource management strategies for wetlands, water quality, open space, and land use planning.

20.  *Ravit, B. and J. Ehrenfeld. Microbial Community Structure of Salt Marsh Macrophyte Rhizosphere as an Indicator of Contamination. MERI. 2002. [1a] Compared microbial communities in the rhizosphere of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and common reed (Phragmites australis) from Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area and Kearny Freshwater Marsh in the Meadowlands to those in the Mullica River. Spiked sediments with tetrabromol-bisphenol-A (a flame retardant) to analyze its degradation in the different sediments.

21.  Tutak, J. A Comparative Analysis of Seed Bank Composition in the Kearny Freshwater Marsh. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. 2003. [5] The Kearny Freshwater Marsh is dominated by two invasive species, common reed (Phragmites australis) and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), while a few islands within the marsh support other species. The seed banks of these islands were analyzed to determine what species were present and able to colonize bare islands. Examined species richness, relative density, and frequency.

22.  *Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Technical Reports for the Draft EIS and Section 4 (f) Evaluation, Boonton Line-Montclair Branch Corridor Study. 1989. [1a]The majority of this study area is located outside the HMD, except for a small section of the Kearny and Secaucus area, including the Kearny Freshwater Marsh site. Includes separate reports reviewing existing data on transportation, land use/socio-economics, air quality, noise/vibration, terrestrial/aquatic resources, community participation, and historical/cultural resources regarding the Boonton Line Montclair Branch Corridor.

F.   Geotechnical

No data obtained.

G.  Hydraulics and Hydrology

No data obtained.

H.  Water and Sediments

23.  *Bugel, S. & C. Bentivegna. Evaluating Macroinvertebrate Biodiversity in a New Jersey Freshwater Marsh. Abstracts of the Meadowlands Symposium. 2003. [1a] Six sites in Kearny Freshwater Marsh were sampled in June, August, and October of 2002 using dip net and Hester-Dendy samplers. Water quality parameters including pH, temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen were measured concurrently. Results indicated that collection techniques and water quality parameters used in freshwater streams were not indicative of marsh ecosystem health.

24.  *Bentivegna, C., S. Bugel, J. Alfano, & K. Czechowicz, Comparison of Sediment and Detritus Toxicity from a Heavy Metal Contaminated Freshwater Marsh. Abstracts of the Meadowlands Symposium. 2003. [1a] Sediment and detritus samples were collected from six sites in Kearny Marsh. Study included monitoring macroinvertebrates in situ, analyzing sediment chemistry, testing sediment and detritus toxicity with chironomids, and measuring heavy metal bioaccumulation

25.  *Cai, H. and Hahn, D. Assessing Microbial Indicators for Heavy Metal Contamination using Automated Image Analysis. MERI. 2002. [1a] Sediment and saltmarsh hay (Spartina patens) samples were collected at a site in Harrier Meadow in April, June and August 2000. The samples were analyzed for Ni, Cu, Cd, Cr, Pb, and Zn. Control samples of S. patens were grown in a greenhouse in Ni-amended and fungicide-treated soils. Plant uptake of Ni, Cu, Cd, Cr and Pb were compared among the samples. Sediment samples were also collected from Kearny Freshwater Marsh and the bacterial populations were analyzed.

26.  Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. Sediment and Water Sampling Report: Kearny Marsh. June 22, 1999. [1a] Report submitted as part of permit application #93-00080 Volume VIII, 23 March 1999, detailing methodologies and results of sediment sampling at the Kearny Freshwater Marsh. Surface water samples at 22 locations were collected on April 7 and 8, 1999, core sediment samples at 11 of the 22 locations were completed on April 29, 1999, and surface sediment samples were collected at the same 22 locations on May 26, 1999.

27.  *Mattson, C. P. Ecological and Resource Management Plan for the Hackensack Meadowlands. Hackensack Meadowlands Development Corporation. 1978. [1a]Provides a synopsis of what the then eight-year old HMDC had learned about the Hackensack Estuary. Section 1 is an “ecological primer”, Section 2 provides information on the state of the estuary, and Section 3 presents natural resource management strategies for wetlands, water quality, open space, and land use planning.

28.  *Ravit, B. and J. Ehrenfeld. Microbial Community Structure of Salt Marsh Macrophyte Rhizosphere as an Indicator of Contamination. MERI. 2002. [1a] Compared microbial communities in the rhizosphere of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and common reed (Phragmites australis) from Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area and Kearny Freshwater Marsh in the Meadowlands to those in the Mullica River. Spiked sediments with tetrabromol-bisphenol-A (a flame retardant) to analyze its degradation in the different sediments.


I.    Historical/Cultural Resources

29.  *Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Technical Reports for the Draft EIS and Section 4 (f) Evaluation, Boonton Line-Montclair Branch Corridor Study. 1989. [1a]The majority of this study area is located outside the HMD, except for a small section of the Kearny and Secaucus area, including the Kearny Freshwater Marsh site. Includes separate reports reviewing existing data on transportation, land use/socio-economics, air quality, noise/vibration, terrestrial/aquatic resources, community participation, and historical/cultural resources regarding the Boonton Line Montclair Branch Corridor.

J.   Restoration/Remediation Design Plans

30.  *HMDC. Draft Proposed Wetland Mitigation for FDP Enterprises Inc. September 1998. [2] This document was submitted to the USACE as part of permit application #93-00080 Vol. VI, 29 April 1998 to 24 September 1998. It discusses the mitigation plan for Kearny Freshwater Marsh associated with the FD&P project.

K. Bibliographic Updates                   

Site #16: Kearny Freshwater Marsh