Harbor Estuary


South Brother Island, New York
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of NYC Audubon

Twenty million people—and a diverse community of plants and animals—live within minutes of the harbor estuaries that connect New Jersey with New York (extending in New Jersey from Bergen County into Monmouth County). These important resources have been neglected following a century of industrial pollution at the harbors' edge.

History in the Estuary
Our work around the estuary began in the 1980s with the creation of the Hudson River Walkway. Today, we focus on protecting underdeveloped land in densely populated communities where open space is scarce and past industrial use has limited the public's access to the estuary and its tributaries. The work builds upon decades of clean up efforts that encourage a return to the harborfronts natural estuary restoration.

The Program Today
With a parcel-by-parcel analysis of the region complete, The Trust for Public Land's New Jersey and New York offices are acquiring critical properties and supporting community efforts to reclaim access to the rivers, protect natural lands, and increase parkland. We've protected more than 600 acres that connect to the harbor, including Old Place Creek, South Brother Island, and helped the North Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint establish a new recreational foothold on the waterfront with its acquisition of two city blocks that now make up East River State Park.  Explore the full Greenpoint/Williamsburg Open Space Plan.

Explore our work

Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects. You’ll find some of our favorite places on the map below.