USA: More Money for Environmental Restoration Projects in South Jersey

More Money for Environmental Restoration Projects in South Jersey

U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) announced more than $13,7 mln in federal funding to 5 South Jersey environmental restoration projects from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation under the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grants.

The Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program supports projects that reduce communities’ vulnerability to the growing risks from coastal storms, sea level rise, flooding, erosion and associated threats through strengthening natural ecosystems that also benefit fish and wildlife.

Projects will carry out activities that assess, restore, enhance or create wetlands, beaches and other natural systems to help better protect communities and to mitigate the impacts of future storms. More than 375 submitted proposals competed for $568 million in federal funding.

The 2nd Congressional District projects awarded funding are:

– $4,750,000 for restoring 50 acres of wetland along the Delaware Bayshore

The American Littoral Society will restore 50 acres of wetland within six interrelated Delaware Bayshore sites in Cape May and Cumberland Counties in New Jersey. Sites include both the natural and built communities at Cumberland County’s Gandy’s/Money Island Beach, Roadway Beach between Fortescue and Oyster Creek, East Point Lighthouse Beach, and Moores/Thompsons Beach.

The Cape May County’s natural and built communities include Reeds Beach/Pierces Point, and South Reeds/Cooks/North Pierces Point Beaches. Each site is an integral unit of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, a known spawning area for horseshoe crabs, and a major stopover point for northbound migrant shorebirds.

– $3,420,000 for restoring 90 acres of salt marsh in Avalon, Stone Harbor & Fortescue

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Office of Natural Resource Restoration will restore ninety acres of salt marsh, which will enhance habitat and reduce vulnerability to flooding and erosion in Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Fortescue.

– $2,167,250 to Ocean City to restore hundreds of acres of damaged island wetlands in Great Egg Harbor Bay

The City of Ocean City will restore hundreds of acres of damaged island wetlands in Great Egg Harbor Bay. Cowpen’s Island, Shooting Island, the Rainbow Islands, and other unnamed islands in Great Egg Harbor Bay will have their wetlands restored and enhanced with a thin layer of dredged materials. Meanwhile, 18 acres of previously existing wetlands on the west side of Garret’s Island will be reclaimed using sediment traps and beneficial re-use of dredged materials. Major wetlands will have new installations comprised of sediment traps, hay bales, and straw logs secured with wooden stakes.

The sediment traps will allow water to flow past during tide cycles and allow sediment particles to settle out of the water column without interfering with fish passage. Site monitoring for detailed indicators will continue for two years with results supporting similar future projects. Enhancing and raising the elevation of the wetlands will mitigate the impact of future storms for inland communities, fish and wildlife species, and the invaluable wetlands themselves.

– $2,130,000 to Little Egg Harbor Township for marsh restoration and replenishment

Little Egg Harbor Township will conduct a marsh restoration and replenishment project to alleviate a silt build-up problem in Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton that is blocking stormwater outfalls and impeding the passage of wildlife and boats. The project will dredge three lagoon communities resulting in the restoration and opening of seven miles of stream area. The dredged materials will be used to restore and replenish six acres of marsh and wetlands, 0.7 acres of beach, and place erosion controls at three locations.

The dredging and habitat restoration will directly benefit 1,038 homes and numerous fish, reptile, amphibian, mammal and bird populations including the red knot and the American oystercatcher. It will also indirectly benefit the two towns’ population of 23,412 citizens, strengthen a natural buffer from storm surges, protect critical infrastructure, and preserve the tax base.

– $1,280,000 for restoration efforts at Seven Mile Island’s beach

The New Jersey Audubon Society, in partnership with other non-profit organizations, state and federal agencies, academic institutions, and the local municipality, will carry out restoration efforts to increase resiliency at Stone Harbor Point’s beach in Cape May County, New Jersey. Stone Harbor Point is a highly dynamic coastal site that experiences changes in length, width, and height on an annual basis and is one of a few unimproved inlets along the New Jersey and mid-Atlantic coastline.

Early successional beaches provide critical habitat for many species of birds to nest, roost, and forage, including red knot, piping plover and American oystercatcher. The northern portion of the site is more stable and has persisted in a similar configuration for more than a decade, while the southern portions vary more widely.

[mappress]

Press Release, June 19, 2014

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