Proposed Ecological Restoration

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, (the “Trustees”) of the American Cyanamid Superfund Site ("American Cyanamid Site")  have released a Final Restoration Plan/Environmental Assessment ("Final RP/EA"). The Draft RP/EA was released for 30-day public comment in May 2023. Once the Trustees had reviewed and incorporated public comments received, the document was finalized in December 2023. The Final RP/EA identifies a preferred restoration project that will compensate the public for potential injury and losses to natural resources and wildlife in floodplain,  riparian riparian
Definition of riparian habitat or riparian areas.

Learn more about riparian
, and wetland habitats, that occurred as a result of release of hazardous substances at the American Cyanamid Site in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, New Jersey.

The proposed restoration project is a 112-acre floodplain reforestation on property owned by Duke Farms, a center of the Doris Duke Foundation, in Hillsborough, New Jersey. The project will consist of converting retired agricultural fields into forested and scrub-shrub floodplain habitat adjacent to the Raritan River. The location of the proposed restoration is approximately 2.8 miles upstream of the American Cyanamid Site. This project will involve:

  • intensive management of undesirable invasive plants.
  • planting of approximately 50,000 native trees and shrubs.
  • installation of deer fence around the project perimeter to protect the plants from herbivory.
  • construction of three acres of vernal pool habitat for amphibians.
  • 15 years of monitoring and adaptive management.

On December 7, 2023, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) released a proposed legal settlement to compensate for natural resource injuries resulting from hazardous substance releases from theAmerican Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The proposed settlement between DOJ and Wyeth Holdings LLC, addresses liability for past releases of hazardous substances at or near the American Cyanamid Superfund Site that impacted floodplain, riparian, upland, and wetland habitat adjacent to the Raritan River in New Jersey.

The settlement will support monitoring the success and effectiveness of the restoration project. The Service will conduct monitoring to measure benefits provided by improved habitat to bird species and other wetland resources, which will help inform future restoration projects.

 The Trustees have coordinated with Wyeth Holdings LLC to determine effective strategies for implementing a successful restoration project. The Trustees also collaborated with other conservation partners including Duke Farms, a Center of the Doris Duke Foundation, and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) during project planning. The USDA-NRCS holds a permanent easement on part of the Duke Farms property that will allow for the benefits of the restoration work to be realized and protected well into the future.

Benefits from the Proposed Ecological Restoration Include:

  • Re-establishment of floodplain forest, one of the most biologically diverse yet historically degraded habitats in the region.
  • Enhanced habitat for wildlifeincluding birds, bats, and amphibians.
  • Improved water quality of the Raritan River.
  • Bolstered flood storage capacity and storm resiliency.
  • Increased carbon sequestration through tree growth.
  • Improved ecosystem services that will benefit local and historically underserved communities.

The restoration work will begin in 2024 and take place over the next few years and will be monitored and stewarded for fifteen years to provide long-term benefits for the resources and the public. To access the Final RP/EA, please visit .

Site History and Prior Settlements

Releases associated with industrial activities at the American Cyanamid Site resulted in contamination of soil and groundwater with volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, cyanide, and heavy metals. Releases to the Raritan River and Cuckels Brook, a tributary to the Raritan River, as well as associated sediments, groundwater, wetlands, riparian areas, floodplains, and uplands have resulted in potential injury to fish and wildlife.

Previously, the Trustees identified two restoration projects as compensation for in-river injury from the facility: the removal of the Weston Mill Dam, located on the Millstone River, and a design and feasibility study of ways to improve fish passage fish passage
Fish passage is the ability of fish or other aquatic species to move freely throughout their life to find food, reproduce, and complete their natural migration cycles. Millions of barriers to fish passage across the country are fragmenting habitat and leading to species declines. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Passage Program is working to reconnect watersheds to benefit both wildlife and people.

Learn more about fish passage
at the Island Farm Weir, the remaining barrier to migratory fish passage in the lower 30 miles of the Raritan River. The Trustees and the PRP negotiated a settlement that was finalized in 2017, that incorporated implementation of these projects in granting a limited release for in-river injury caused by the discharge of hazardous substances at the American Cyanamid Site. Both of these restoration objectives have been completed.

For more information on the American Cyanamid Site history and prior settlements, please visit the DOI Page for the Site.


A rocky shoreline of a river. The water is calm. Mist and green branches line the river.
The Ecological Services Program works to restore and protect healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the environments upon which they depend. Using the best available science, we work with federal, state, Tribal, local, and non-profit stakeholders, as well as private land owners, to...


New Jersey Pinelands
The New Jersey Field Office protects endangered species, supports federal planning, mitigates environmental contamination, and partners with landowners to restore wildlife habitats. We work with others across New Jersey to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats...