Debris Removal to Establish Living Shoreline in Camden, NJ
Ropes and other debris scattered along a rocky shore.
Marine debris mixed among the rocky shoreline of the project site. (Photo Credit: Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority)
A pile of broken-up cement in front of an industrial site.
The industrial project site of a new living shoreline along Phoenix Park. (Photo Credit: Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority)

The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority has teamed up with the NOAA Marine Debris Program to remove marine debris as part of a significant urban living shoreline project, the first in urban tidal freshwaters in New Jersey.

Type of Project: Community-based Marine Debris Removal Grant

Region: Mid-Atlantic

Project Dates: August 2017 - July 2019

Who is involved?
The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority in New Jersey, supported by a NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) Community-based Marine Debris Removal grant, is removing large debris from the Delaware River shoreline in the City of Camden, New Jersey. Camden County is also partnering with the Camden Adventure Aquarium for volunteer cleanups of smaller-scale debris at the site and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary to educate the public on the benefits of creating a living shoreline in their community.

What is the project and why is it important?
The City of Camden has made enormous strides to address environmental issues related to reducing combined sewer overflows, reclaiming vacant land for parks and stormwater management, and building community capacity to better manage natural systems. As part of the City’s efforts, Camden County and other partners are removing marine debris as part of the establishment of a living shoreline along Phoenix Park and the waterfront of the adjacent Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority-owned and operated wastewater treatment facility. This removal is key for restoring 1,600 linear feet of living shoreline and nine acres of wildlife habitat for several species of concern, and is increasing the usability of the shoreline for the residents of Camden.

This urban living shoreline project in tidal freshwater is the first of its kind in New Jersey. The chosen site is of particular importance as the aquatic habitat being restored is home to two local species of concern-- the shortnose sturgeon and the tidewater mucket, a freshwater mussel. The importance of the project, such as providing access to water and natural aquatic habitat to the community, is being highlighted in public education programs through the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

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A pile of broken-up cement in front of an industrial site.
The industrial project site of a new living shoreline along Phoenix Park. (Photo Credit: Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority)