Symposium web site:

Final Announcement and Program Schedule 


Meadowlands Symposium, October 9 and 10

Primary Sponsors

Hudsonia, Ltd.

Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute

US Fish and Wildlife Service

US Army Corps of Engineers,
NY District



  • American Littoral Society

  • American Society of Engineers, New Jersey Section - North Jersey Branch, Environmental Technical Group

  • American Water Resources Association, NJ Section

  • Atlantic Estuarine Research Society

  • Center for Urban Restoration Ecology

  • Ducks Unlimited

  • Hackensack Riverkeeper

  • Hudson River Environmental Society  

  • Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

  • Natural Resources Defense Council

  • NJ Audubon Society

  • NJ Department of Environmental Protection

  • NJ Water Resources Research Institute

  • NY/NJ Baykeeper  

  • Olentangy Wetland Research Park at The Ohio State University

  • Sierra Club, NJ Chapter

  • Society of   Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, Hudson-Delaware Chapter

  • Society of Wetland Scientists, Mid-Atlantic chapter

  • US Environmental Protection Agency

  • Watershed Management Area 5


Hudsonia, Ltd., the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (NY District), and the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute (MERI) and our cosponsors have partnered to organize a scientific symposium on the Hackensack Meadowlands.  The Meadowlands represent the largest estuarine wetlands complex remaining in the New York Metropolitan area.  After centuries of abuse and neglect, their recreational and educational benefits and ecosystem functions are now highly valued and are being intensely studied for conservation and restoration purposes.  As the USFWS, the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission begin to prepare a multimillion dollar “Comprehensive Restoration Improvement Plan” for the Meadowlands, it is an excellent time to review and discuss the complex, interdisciplinary, scientific issues in this fascinating post-industrial landscape.  The intent of the Symposium is to provide a forum for a diverse group of scientists to exchange information about their research in the Meadowlands and to disseminate their findings to the environmental communities at large.

Meadowlands Symposium

New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, 1 Dekorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, NJ
October 9 and 10, 2003
Symposium web site:

Program Schedule 

Thursday October 9th
8:00 AM Registration and continental breakfast


8:40 AM Welcome
Kirk Barrett, MERI Research Director and Chair of the Organizing Committee
Remarks by officials: 
Robert Ceberio, Executive Director, New Jersey Meadowlands Commission
Marc Matsil, Assistant Commissioner, NJDEP
Clifford Day, Supervisor, NJ Field Office, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Leonard Houston, Chief, Environmental Analysis Branch, US Army Corps of Engineers, NY District
9:40 AM break


10:00 AM Session 1 (F. Artigas, Moderator)

Biodiversity Patterns in the Hackensack Meadowlands        E. Kiviat, K. MacDonald

Estuarine Shifts in Organic Matter and Plant Communities in the Meadowlands and Lower Hudson Bay—European Impact        D.M. Peteet, D. Pederson, D. Kleinstein

Community Involvement in Toxic Crab Outreach: A Case Study in the Issuance of Fish Consumption Advisories        K. Pflugh
11:00 AM break


11:20 AM Session 2 (J. Cramer, Moderator)

Historical and Current Ecology of the Lower Passaic River, New Jersey        T. Ianuzzi, D. Ludwig

The Use of Paleoecological Approaches in Modern Wetland Reconstruction/Mitigation Efforts        B. LePage

The Meadowlands Before the Commission: Three Centuries of Human Use and Modification of the Hackensack Meadowlands        S. Marshall
12:20 PM Lunch/poster viewing


1:40 PM Session 3 (E. Kiviat, Moderator)

Mercury in the Hackensack River: Initial Findings of the NJ Toxics Reduction Workplan for the NY-NJ Harbor        J. Pecchioli, G. Buchanan, R. Miskewitz

Sediment, Carbon, and Trace Contaminant Contributions to the New Jersey Meadowlands Area from the Hackensack River Basin        T. Wilson

The Influence of the Hackensack Meadowlands on the Tidal Hydraulics of the Hackensack River        R. Miskewitz, R. Hires

2:40 PM break


3:00 PM Session 4 (M. Theising, Moderator)

Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) Functional Assessment Model and Guidebook for Tidal Fringe Wetlands in the New Jersey Meadowlands        P. McBrien

Tidal Marsh Restoration in Areas with Contaminated or Unconsolidated Soils        T. Doss, K. Appell

The Plan to Restore the Meadowlands to Health (Not Youth)        M. Renna

4:00 PM break


4:20 PM Keynote presentation -- Dr. William J. Mitsch, The Ohio State University
Urban wetlands and large-scale wetland restoration: Lessons Learned


5:00 PM Reception and poster viewing


6:00 PM Small group dinners to local restaurants
Friday October 10th
7:00 AM


Bird walk
8:00 AM Registration and continental breakfast


8:40 AM Session 5 (T. Barkay, Moderator)

Vigor Gradients of Phragmites australis in the Meadowlands District        F. Artigas, A. Aydiner

Tidal Variability in an Urbanized Estuary        J. DiLorenzo,
R. Filadelfo, T. Najarian, V. Gunawardana, C. Surak

Revisiting the SAMP: The Use of Historic GIS & 3D Terrain Modeling to Reconstruct the New Jersey Meadowlands    J. Grossman


9:40 AM break


10:00 AM Session 6 (M. McClary, Moderator)

Comparison of Sediment and Detritus Toxicity from a Heavy Metal Contaminated Freshwater Marsh        C. Bentivegna, S. Bugel, J. Alfano, K. Czechowicz

Benthic Communities and Metal Contamination in Eight Day Swamp, a Brackish Marsh in the Hackensack Meadowlands of New Jersey        J. Weis, P. Weis

Benthic Communities in Spartina alterniflora and Phragmites australis Dominated Salt Marshes Found in the Hackensack Meadowlands       C. Yuhas

11:00 AM break


11:20 AM Session 7 (M. Levandowsky, Moderator)

Mercury Contamination in Berrys Creek and Downstream Ecosystem         J. Schaefer. T. Cardona-Merek, K. Ellickson, J. Yagi, T. Barkay, J. Reinfelder

Atmospheric Deposition of Organic and Inorganic Contaminants to the New Jersey Meadowlands       L. Totten, R. Reinfelder, C. Gigliotti, D. Van Ry, J. Dachs,
J. Girona, J. Offenberg, Y. Koelliker, M. Panangadan, S. Yan,
Y. Zhuang, S. Goodrow, K. Ellickson, R. Gioia, S. Eisenreich

Distribution of Contaminants in the NY-NJ Harbor Area
H. Feng, W. Jaslanek, E. Stern, K. Jones, V. Onwueme
12:20 PM Lunch


1:10pm Special speaker: Steven Rothman, Member U.S. Congress (NJ9th)
1:20 PM Lunch speaker
Turning the Tide in the Meadowlands—How Science Effects Change        B. Sheehan, L. Kelly


1:40 PM Boat tour of Hackensack River and marshes, and land tours of wetland restoration sites


4:00 PM Tours return

Poster Presentations

Chemical and Biotic Assessment of a Degraded Brackish Marsh in the Hackensack Meadowlands    K. Barrett, M. McBrien, F. Artigas

Fisheries Resource Inventory of the Hackensack River     B. Bragin, J. Misuik, C. Woolcott

Evaluating Macroinvertebrate Biodiversity in a New Jersey Freshwater Marsh     S. Bugel, C. Bentivegna

An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Continuous Growing Season Grazing by Goats as a Means to Control Phragmites australis in a Tidal Marsh     R. Clanton B. Evans, K. Strait

Distribution of Metals, PCBs and PCDD/Fs     K. Dimou, T. Su, G. Korfiatis, R. Hires

Evaluating wetland restoration success: Alternative approaches to measuring landscape function in urban watersheds  L. Windham, M. Laska

Seed Dispersal Dynamics in a Restored Salt Marsh: Implications for Restoration Success     
P. Hicks, J. Hartman

Mineral-Trace Metals Associations (Speciation) in Contaminated Sediments from the Hackensack Meadowlands Urban Estuary     V. Hover

Environmental Factors Limiting Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) Populations in the New Jersey Meadowlands     M. Laska, J. Baxter, A. Graves

The Use of Paleoecological Approaches in Modern Wetland Reconstruction/Mitigation Efforts 
B. LePage

Assessing and Monitoring Groundwater Contamination from Landfill Leachate in Kearny Marsh Using High-Resolution Geophysics     N. Mansoor, L. Slater

Spartina alterniflora and Phragmites australis as Habitat for the Ribbed Mussel (Geukensia demissa) (Dillwyn)     M. McClary

Water Quality Assessment of Point and Non-Point Discharges on the Hackensack River Estuary 
T. Najarian, J. Sheehan, V. Gunawardana, P. Huang, H. Litwack

The Distribution, Abundance, and Potential Prey of a Marsh Resident Fish: Phragmites versus Spartina alterniflora D. Raichel

Comparing Microbial Biocomplexity in Adjacent Salt Marsh Microhabitats in Winter and Summer: 3 Approaches     B. Ravit, J. Champanerkar, O. Anderson, D. Blackmore, M. Haggblom, L. Kerkhof, T. Gorrell, G. Benoit, M. Levandowsky

Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) Biotranformation in Vegetated and Non-Vegetated Salt Marsh Sediments     B. Ravit, M. Haggblom, J. Ehrenfeld

Behavioral Differences Between Juvenile Blue Crabs (Callinectes sapidus) from the Hackensack Meadowlands and a Reference Site in Tuckerton, NJ     J. Reichmuth, J. MacDonald, J. Mairo, T. Glover, J. Weis

Analyzing Groundwater Flow to Aid in Wetland Mitigation     R. Riberty, D. Ophori

An Analysis of Epifaunal Communities Associated with the Stems of Phragmites australis and Spartina alterniflora Collected from Brackish Marshes in New Jersey     T. Robertson, J. Weis

Effective Avian Monitoring in Common Reed Wetlands     J. Rollino, C. Ross

Comparison of Condition of Young of the Year Bluefish from two Different New Jersey Estuaries: Hackensack River and Great Bay, Tuckerton     J. Samson

Avian Response to Marsh Restoration in the Meadowlands: the Value of Having Pre and Post Restoration Data     A. Siegel

Vertical and Lateral Profiles of Heavy Metal Concentrations in Marsh and Mudflat Sediments of Eight Day Swamp in the Hackensack Meadowlands, NJ   K. Barrett, R. Bopp, T. Proctor and P. Weis

Nekton Use of Different Marsh Grass Species     C. Woolcott, J. Weis

Spectral Characteristics of Inter-Tidal Mud Flats in Impoundments at Low and High Tide     
N. Yao, F. Artigas

Metal Burdens and Histopathology of White Perch from the Hackensack River, NJ, USA 
Cathy Czerwinski, Peddrick Weis, Vicki S. Blazer, Judith S. Weis

The Geomorphic Background to Human Settlement in the New Jersey Meadowlands: New Perspectives    J. Schuldenrein and S. Malin-Boyce

Diversity and Abundance of Benthic Animal Species at two sites in the lower Hackensack River 
C. M. Rymer

Growth of Phragmites australis on Estuary Enhancement Sites of the Delaware River
K. R. Philipp




Organizing Committee

  • Francisco Artigas, MERI

  • Kirk Barrett (chair), MERI 

  • James Cramer, USFWS

  • Leonard Houston, US Army Corps of Engineers, NY District

  • Erik Kiviat, Hudsonia Ltd

  • Josephine Nash, MERI, Conference Coordinator

Advisory Committee 

  • Brett Bragin, MERI 

  • Anthony Decandia, Bergen County Department of Health

  • Terry Doss, Louis Berger Group, Inc.

  • Milton Halem, National Aeronautic and Space Administration

  • Stephen Handel, Center for Urban Restoration Ecology

  • Christine Hobble, MERI

  • Edward Konsevick, MERI

  • Thomas Marturano, New Jersey Meadowlands Commission

  • Marc Matsil, NJ Department of Environmental Protection

  • Marion McLary, Fairleigh Dickinson University

  • MaryAnne Thiesing, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region II



(details at

NJ Turnpike Exit 16W to Rt. 3 West; approx. 1 mi. to Route 17 South (Lyndhurst exit).  Turn left at first traffic light onto Polito Ave.  Go straight to end of Polito Ave.; turn left onto Valley Brook Ave. Follow this road approx. 1.5 miles to the NJMC complex.  Park in the first lot you see and enter the first building, the Environment Center.

Garden State Parkway or Rt. 21 to Rt. 3 East.  Take Rt. 17 South/Polito Ave. exit; continue straight onto Polito Ave.  Then follow directions above.  Call 201-460-1700 if you get lost.

Anyone arriving by train or bus who would like to be picked up in Newark, Lyndhurst or Secaucus, please contact Ms. Josephine Nash, 201-460-3787,








Quality Inn Meadowlands (provide airport shuttle service). Daily Rate $89;  Two days $79  
10 Polito Avenue (Routes 3 & 17), Lyndhurst, NJ  (2 miles from Symposium location)
Phone 1-800-228-5151, web:

Marriott Courtyard. One Day  $159;  Two days $109  
1 Polito Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ, (2 miles from Symposium location)
Phone 201-896-6666 web:  

Red Roof Inn. $79/day  
15 Meadowlands Parkway, Secaucus, NJ (6  miles from Symposium)
201-935-2386, web: