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NY/NJ Baykeeper fights for access to fishable, swimmable, clean waterways across the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary.
NY/NJ Baykeeper continues to be at the forefront of many environmental advocacy and legal campaigns.
The NY-NJ Harbor Estuary, also known as the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, is a system of waterways and habitats that form one of the most intricate natural harbors in the world. Since 1989, NY/NJ Baykeeper has worked to protect, preserve and restore the environment of the most urban estuary on Earth.
NY/NJ Baykeeper holds exciting events all year round! Please check our Events calendar regularly to stay in the loop. Hope to see you there!
The fight for clean water needs you! Your support today will protect, preserve, and restore the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary! Members enjoy cool merch and discounts to Baykeeper events!
There are so many ways to donate! Your donation today helps ensure a clean, swimmable, fishable watershed for our families and future generations.
Love oysters? Boats? Beach cleanups? Kayaking? Check out our many exciting volunteer opportunities! There's something for everyone!
For the past 100 years, Exxon’s petroleum waste pollution within its Linden and Bayonne sites has destroyed approximately 1,700 acres of delicate salt marsh, freshwater wetlands, upland meadows, and streams. These two sites represent the largest hazardous waste sites in NJ. The Bayonne site alone has over 7 million gallons of oil floating on top of ground water.
The damage caused by Exxon was estimated to cost $8.9 billion, according to NJ Department of Environmental Protection for the excavation, restoration, off-site mitigation, and compensation for lost public resources. However, Governor Chris Christie’s administration has quietly and quickly proposed a settlement for just $225 million. Settlement details on April 6, 2015 here. Even more crooked is that only the first $50 million out of the $225 proposed settlement would go towards site restoration due to appropriation language the Christie administration inserted in the FY2014-15 budget. Monies exceeding the initial $50 million would go into New Jersey’s General Fund to be used for any purpose. This budget language must not be included in the FY2015-16 budget.
Complete environmental remediation of contaminated sites should not be sacrificed for Christie’s budget shortfalls and favors given to presidential donors.
In August 2015, a NJ court approved Christie's sweetheart deal with Exxon for a mere $225 million and we are deeply disappointed because the residents living near the contaminated sites will likely see no relief whatsoever.
ExxonMobil could simply leave the pollution in place, place a cap over it, put a fence around it and walk away. A cleanup does not restore the natural resources or provide for a functioning ecosystem. The settlement will not go nearly far enough to restore what has been lost to the public at the hands of ExxonMobil. Click here for ExxonMobil Settlement Documents
We Took Several Actions to Make Sure the Public's Voice Was Heard and Opposed the Settlement
NY/NJ Baykeeper filed to intervene in the case but the court denied our request. However our attorneys at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) were allowed to participate in the oral arguments as a “friend of the court.” We argued that it is important that the public’s voice be heard and that wetlands, waterways and habitat are restored.
2,532 comments were generated from New Jersey residents opposing the $225 million settlement.
Click here for Debbie Mans' testimony - March 19, 2015.
Public Hearing on June 3 - A key committee in the legislature met in Bayonne. The public had the opportunity to speak out to help show the Department of Environmental Protection that this deal is bad for our state and discussed how Exxon's pollution impacted their lives.
Statehouse Rally on June 4 - NY/NJ Baykeeper along with NJ League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action and others participated in an Exxon Lobby Day and Rally in Trenton on the Statehouse steps. Following the rally, folks walked to the NJDEP to deliver public comments opposing the settlement.