2. Though located in New Jersey, Port Newark is jointly operated by the State of New York
Today, Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal — despite being fully located in New Jersey — is jointly operated with the state of New York through the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. For years, the Port Authority has worked to efficiently manage Port Newark, sparking higher rates of employment, tenant occupancy, and business opportunities. However, the two states’ simultaneous control over Port Newark wasn’t always set in stone. During the early 1900s, a great deal of conflict existed between New York and New Jersey over maritime activities in the Hudson and East rivers. As a result, the two states often fought over jurisdiction rights for the area’s waterways (much like the battle over Ellis Island later!). Eventually, the fighting came to an end with the signing of a compact on April 30, 1921 between New York and New Jersey, which created the Port of New York Authority — later renamed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1972 to better reflect the organization’s interstate connections.
The Port Authority stands out as having been the first inter-state agency created under the Constitutional Clause, allowing for compacts to be created between states. With the compact, the Port Authority began to develop and modernize the region’s port district. In 1948, it was given the responsibility of operating and repairing Port Newark, which had run into disrepair during the Great Depression and the two World Wars. By 1951, Port Newark became a true force to be reckoned with, serving as a modern terminal with 21 berths and a 35 foot channel capable of accommodating the largest ships of the time.