WASHINGTON, DC—The Meadowlands Conservation Trust and EarthMark Mitigation Services broke ground yesterday on an innovative public-private project to restore and protect the Richard P. Kane Wetlands in the Hackensack Meadowlands, a wetland restoration project designed by The Louis Berger Group. As a consultant to EarthMark, LBG developed the design and obtained the federal and state permits to restore the approximately 240-acre degraded site to an ecologically diverse wetland. Additionally, LBG is assisting EarthMark with supervising the project’s construction. The wetland design will help reestablish high-value wildlife and plant habitats and enhance the wetlands’ natural functions and services such as water quality improvement, support for a diverse fisheries and wildlife population and opportunities for ecotourism.

“The Louis Berger Group is honored to have supported EarthMark on this important project,” said Peg McBrien, LBG’s project manager. “This initiative will preserve the natural environment, provide local residents with a space to enjoy nature and also support transportation infrastructure construction that will contribute to the region’s economic growth.”

In designing the Kane Wetlands Mitigation Bank, LBG addressed challenges such as potential marsh subsidence, a natural gas pipeline bisecting the site, state and federal agency concerns about low-level contaminants, and increased federal scrutiny of the site resulting from the high-profile emergency landing of a commercial plane in the nearby Hudson River. The project also represents the first wetland mitigation bank in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ New York District to obtain approval under the April 2008 Final Compensatory Mitigation Rule, a rule issued by USACE and the Environmental Protection Agency to establish guidelines to prevent the loss of aquatic resources. The Kane project will serve as a wetland “mitigation bank” to offset authorized wetland impacts by state transportation agencies and allow regionally significant American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded projects, such as New Jersey Transit’s ARC Tunnel and Portal Bridge, to continue to move forward. The project has also earned the support of environmental organizations such as the Hackensack River Keeper.

About The Louis Berger Group 
The Louis Berger Group, Inc., is an internationally recognized consulting firm that provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science, and economic development services. We are a devoted and trusted partner to federal, state, and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry. To this diverse client base we bring strategic vision and an entrepreneurial spirit, developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. With a resource base of more than 5,000 professionals and affiliate employees in more than 90 countries, we are able to respond to local conditions while providing clients with the technical resources and rapid response capabilities of a leading global organization.