We are residents of Jersey City who enjoy all the wonderful opportunities Liberty State Park offers – open space, beautiful vistas, clean air, and natural beauty. We are writing to voice our concerns about the marina being proposed at Liberty State Park’s southern waterfront.
Right now, the southern end of the park is the area where families go to enjoy what little open space and clean air there is in Hudson County. Children run and play; people barbecue, fish, dance, ride bikes, and spend summer weekend days outside enjoying one of a small number of places that is accessible, open, and inviting on the Hudson County/Jersey City waterfront.
A short walk to the south is one of the few remaining urban bird habitats in our area. With wildlife habitats continually under threat, particularly in cities, this nesting area must be protected. A marina with noisy boat motors, and requisite fuel leakage is a threat to that habitat.
The notion that public parks must pay for themselves is not a valid argument. Our state parks are already funded by taxpayer dollars, and should be allotted their share without having to entirely commercialize them. There is already a marina and two restaurants on the northern side of the park, which help to defray operating costs. The south end should remain commercial-free for everyone to enjoy.
At very least we expect NJDEP to hold public hearings, at times when the public is able to attend, listen well, and act on public comments. Liberty State Park is, after all a public park, and the public must have a say in what happens there.