Friday, January 11, 2013

Cleaning up Our Mess

That mess of marshes, bridges, rail yards, tool gates, and so on that you pass through on your way into New York via the George Washington Bridge used to be a toxic wasteland. Every sort of nasty chemical had been dumped there for over a century, and the marshes were in bad shape.

Now, though, the wetlands around New York City are gradually being cleaned up and made livable again. The latest propaganda bulletin from my corporate employers touts our involvement in one of these projects, salt marsh restoration in Hackensack, New Jersey. This project involved removing and landfilling the most contaminated soil and capping the rest with comparatively clean sand dredged from New York's shipping channel. From the brag sheet:
The award-winning project created 42 acres of new wildlife habitat and additional bridges and recreation trails for bikers, hikers, paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The project also restored wetlands and salt marsh habitat and added anadromous fish spawning habitat to the Hackensack River. While also improving the environment, these efforts have restored fisheries and will support more resilient coasts in the face of climate change.
We are still doing some scary things to our environment, like dumping vast quantities of hormones and mood altering drugs. But in many ways our environment is getting cleaner every year, and this is something we should celebrate.

1 comment:

pootrsox said...

I'm delighted to see coastal areas being restored; good on your corporate masters for being part of that.

I wonder (not having taken NJTP north any further than the Garden State exit in many years) if environmentalists have also been able to remove the stench that made Secaucus, NJ, earn the epithet "Armpit of the Nation"?