Update: Tuesday’s meeting has been postponed. We will update the article once a new date is confirmed.
Controversy surrounding the proposed 45-acre marina for the south side of Liberty State Park continues to swell. The project was seen as a last-ditch effort to exploit the park by the Christie administration when it was announced at the end of 2017. The project was met with continued protests and a lawsuit from the city of Jersey City, which intended to stall the project until Gov. Phil Murphy assumed office. Last week, a Hudson County judge dismissed the city’s lawsuit, allowing the marina project to continue.
Suntex Marinas, the operator of Liberty Landing Marina on the north side of the park, has now announced a public presentation about the marina project — the first step to correct what Suntex officials say is misinformation about the project. “This is an opportunity for people to come and learn about the proposal first-hand,” said Suntex Senior Vice President Ron TenEyck in a statement.
The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) manages Liberty State Park, and plans for a southside marina are found in the state’s 1979 master plan for the park, according to Suntex officials. Under the proposed agreement, Suntex would lease the 45 acres from the state and further rehabilitate the south side of the park, including refurbishing the picnic area and building a public fishing pier. Suntex has also agreed to take on the upkeep and repair of the bulkhead at the northern end of the park.
Activists and elected officials strongly oppose the building of the new marina. Dubbing it a “Millionaire’s Marina,” opponents say the marina would be destructive to the park’s wildlife and open space.
Sam Pesin, president of the Friends of Liberty State Park, told The Jersey Journal, “Suntex is again showing their arrogant disregard for over 41 years of overwhelming opposition to such destructive privatization plans and disregard of Jersey City Mayor Fulop and the Hudson legislative delegation by rushing to hold this futile meeting despite Gov. Murphy’s stated opposition.”
The public presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, January 30 at 10:30 a.m. at Liberty House restaurant (76 Audrey Zapp Dr.). Suntex officials will present current renderings of the project, and a question and answer session will follow.