Eco-Cruises are fun, educational tours of the Hackensack River and the NJ Meadowlands aboard Hackensack Riverkeeper's specially-rigged pontoon boats, the Robert H. Boyle and the Edward Abbey. Captain Bill Sheehan started the Eco-Cruise program in 1994 to increase public awareness of the lower Hackensack River watershed as a vital natural and recreational resource.
Since then more than 25,000 people have traveled with us. Eco-Cruises generally take between two and two and one-half hours and are fully narrated by a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain. Most Eco-Cruises originate from the docks at Laurel Hill County Park in Secaucus and take participants on an excursion through the tidal portion of the Hackensack River and its estuary, the Meadowlands.
Most Eco-Cruises take place along a seven mile stretch of river between Little Ferry in the north and Jersey City to the south. Our choice of route depends on the tides and the time of day. Some of the places we might visit are: Bellman's Creek, Chromakill Creek, the Mill Creek Marsh, Kingsland Creek, Berry's Creek and the Berry's Creek Canal.
Sometimes we even travel as far north as Hackensack or as far south as Newark Bay. The highlight of every Eco-Cruise is a trip through the Sawmill Creek Wildlife Management Area, called by many 'The Jewel of the Meadowlands.' The Sawmill is home to a staggering amount of wildlife including shorebirds, waterfowl, herons, raptors, muskrats and more.
Wherever we travel, we endeavor to provide the best wildlife-watching opportunities possible while relating the natural and human history of the region.