Twenty-five Non-governmental organizations and academic partners, eight Federal, six State, and nine New York City agencies joined earlier this month Col. David Caldwell of the U.S. Army Corps’ New York District commander and his staff aboard the Army Corps vessel DCV Hayward for a harbor inspection.
The Corps provided a unique forum for agency heads and civic leaders to highlight joint accomplishments, and showcase various ongoing projects in the Estuary.
Discussed was future partnering opportunities, ecosystem restoration successes, navigation activities, deepening and maintaining the federal channels, and waterfront planning.
As the vessel traveled along the harbor inspection track, various speakers took to the microphone and elaborated about each project. Overviews were presented by the Corps’ New York District. Joseph Seebode, Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management spoke about the Civil Works program, and Thomas Creamer, Chief Operations Officer spoke about Harbor Operations.
Paul Tumminello, Chief of the Army Corps’ New York District Civil Works Branch, discussed the tremendous success of the 50 foot deepening of 35 miles of navigation channels within the Port. “Completion of this $1.6 Billion Civil Works 50 foot Harbor Deepening Project will ensure the Port continues to serve as an economic engine to the region.”
The economic viability of the Port must be balanced with the restoration of the estuary. The beneficial use of dredged material from the Harbor Deepening project has resulted in significant success stories including the restoration of more than 160 acres of marsh islands in Jamaica Bay, the stabilization of the shoreline at Plumb Beach, and restoration at Lincoln Park in Jersey City.
It’s believed that this annual event is one of a kind in the Corps where so many various agencies assemble outside a conference room to synchronize, develop and discuss a diverse range of planning, problem solving, evaluations and strategies.