Bi-State Effort to Address and Remove Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Removals in the Hudson River Estuary

A partially sunken vessel near the water's edge.

The City of Hoboken, New Jersey, is leading a bi-state partnership to remove abandoned and derelict vessels in New Jersey and New York’s Hudson River in an effort to preserve and protect local natural resources and navigation.

Type of Project: Removal

Region: Mid-Atlantic

Project Dates: September 2021 - August 2023

Who is involved?
With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the City of Hoboken, New Jersey, is partnering with Riverkeeper and the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program of the Hudson River Foundation in an effort to remove up to 17 high-priority abandoned and derelict vessels from the Hudson River.

What is the project and why is it important?
Over time, abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) have accumulated throughout the Hudson River Estuary. These vessels can cause problems by blocking navigational channels, damaging ecosystems, and diminishing the recreational value of the surrounding area. Additionally, without prevention or the removal, these vessels will likely sink, leak contaminants, discharge debris, or release hazardous materials into the Hudson River. 

To address this issue, the City of Hoboken is working with partners to remove up to 14 ADVs from Hudson River’s Weehawken Cove in New Jersey and up to three vessels upriver near Kingston, New York. This effort will remove most known ADVs from the Hudson River Estuary. The City will look into all available recycling and alternative disposal methods for the recovered vessels. 

In an effort to prevent ADVs from continuing to accumulate in the Hudson River, Riverkeeper and  the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program of the Hudson River Foundation will engage with recreational boaters and the recreational boating industry in a public education campaign to discourage vessel abandonment. Additionally, the project will promote outreach and education by organizing several “street sweeps.” These sweeps and storm drain stenciling outreach will focus on gathering data on litter generation and dispersal within the right-of-way, or sidewalks, to inform municipal waste management practices that reduce floatable material from entering the Hudson River Estuary and becoming marine debris. Through this project’s removal, prevention, and education focus, the Hudson River will be a place where communities and wildlife can enjoy the waterways for years to come. 

Removing ADVs from Weehawken Cove is also an essential first step to enable a suite of activities that are part of a larger U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Rebuild by Design project. Removal of the ADVs will allow for the creation of a living shoreline and other mitigation measures to reduce frequent flooding due to storm surge, high tide, and heavy rainfall, and enhance public access to the waterfront. Ecological restoration of Weehawken Cove is a high priority for the City of Hoboken for environmental, resiliency, and recreational purposes.

For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.