The Federal Highway Administration has selected the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Route 72 Manahawkin Bay Bridges Cedar Bonnet Island Habitat Restoration and Management Plan Project as a recipient of the 2019 Environmental Excellence Awards.
“This award recognizes the innovative and collaborative nature of NJDOT projects that enhance the quality of life in our state in ways that are not necessarily intuitive,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said in a press release. “Through a partnership between NJDOT, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, we were all able to develop a project to meet the required environmental mitigation while accomplishing the goals of all of the stakeholder agencies, and provide new public space for people to enjoy.”
Since 1995, these awards have recognized leaders across the country who make outstanding contributions to environmental stewardship and partnerships above and beyond traditional transportation project outcomes, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
These awards aim to recognize and exemplify such leaders and project contributions as a means of knowledge sharing and information exchange among peers, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
“This award recognizes NJDOT and partners noteworthy and creative approach to cooperative agreements that streamlined the environmental review processes while also broadening the discussion on in-kind mitigation and refuges,” FHWA Executive Director Thomas Everett said in a news release. “The innovative approaches satisfied the compensatory mitigation requirements accelerated project processes by avoiding significant NJDOT property acquisitions. It also helped restore the degraded Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge ecosystem on Cedar Bonnet Island and provided sensitivity to the project settings.”