This topic will cover the development of a sustainable compensatory mitigation plan to restore a dilapidated coastal sand dune by restoring and enhancing a parcel located adjacent to the project site. The project will have permanent impacts to regulated natural resources. The proposed mitigation project will restore the current shoreline by creating a tidal resistant natural barrier and primary and secondary sand dune habitat. the project will include concrete reef balls and a whelk bag reef habitat just below the mean low tide elevation onsite. As a vital resource, this shellfish reef will expand New Jersey’s shellfish resource and it will act as a natural barrier for the upland mitigation site during severe weather events. The mitigation plan includes removing debris and invasive species and planting with native, coastal species. The development of the mitigation design included an analysis of future seal-level-rise (SLR) to improve potential that the mitigation will remain resilient and provide ecological benefits throughout the project life.
Mr. John Geitner is NJ TRANSIT’s Sr. Director of Environment, Energy, and Sustainability. Mr. Geitner has been involved in environmental management and energy programs for over 19 years in a variety of industries. After completing his graduate degree in Earth and Environmental Science from Adelphi University, Mr. Geitner worked in environmental and safety management, training, and compliance. He worked closely with a number of different clients in the petroleum, petrochemical, and transportation fields dealing with environmental compliance and environmental management system development. Mr. Geitner later moved to the Hess Corporation, where he rose to become a manager of environmental compliance for terminals and refining, overseeing compliance for over twenty domestic and international facilities. At NJ TRANSIT, Mr. Geitner oversees a department that is responsible for all environmental compliance and permitting, energy management, and sustainable practices/sustainability reporting programs.
Mr. Harold Olarte is the Program Manager for Permitting and Ecological Services with BEM Systems, Inc. with over 20 years of experience in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern Region. Areas of chief expertise lie in the inventory and evaluation of aquatic, terrestrial, wetland, and ephemeral ecosystems and assessment and mitigation of impacts associated with major development, transportation, and infrastructure projects. Mr. Olarte has procured over 300 State/Federal/Commission permits for transportation related, capital projects in NJ. Mr. Olarte has many years of designing and overseeing compensatory ecosystem restoration, construction and monitoring efforts required for State/Federal permit compliance.