In 1988, the State of New Jersey adopted Coastal Zone Management Regulations to establish a linear public pathway from the Bayonne Bridge up to George Washington Bridge, the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway. Today, you can walk most of this 18.5 mile walkway,enjoying its spectacular, unobstructed vistas of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline.
For the past seven years, Don Stitzenberg has served as President of the Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy (HRWC), focusing on the final gaps that still exist in the walkway. In recognition of Mr. Stitzenberg’s persistent efforts and continued advocacy for public access along the Hudson River, the Fund for a Better Waterfront (FBW) will honor him with the 11th Annual FBW Riparian Award at its annual Connect the Waterfront fundraising event to be held on November 10.
The mission of the HRWC, a nonprofit organization, has been to monitor the completion and maintenance of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, working closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The NJDEP requires private developers to build their portion of the 30-foot wide walkway as a condition of obtaining a state waterfront permit. The developer must also grant a public easement to the state for the walkway. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway traverses nine New Jersey municipalities: Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York, Guttenberg, North Bergen, Edgewater and Fort Lee.
Don Stitzenberg joined the HRWC Board of Directors in 2008. This past month, Mr. Stitzenberg initiated a lawsuit through the HRWC against the Admiral’s Walk Condo Association in Edgewater which has maintained a private walkway on their property from the time it was developed in the 1980s. The lawsuit is based on the Public Trust Doctrine that requires unhindered access to all property bordering navigable bodies of water and has been supported in a series of New Jersey court decisions dating back to the 1800s.