Mansfield Township, Warren County, New Jersey.
Project Purpose: The primary objective of this project is to restore a wetland and improve riparian habitat associated with a Category-1 Trout Production Tributary of the Musconetcong River. Because the Musconetcong is a large tributary of the Delaware River, this project will help improve conditions for priority species of the Delaware Watershed including both anadromous and catadromous fishes. A secondary objective is to use this restoration project as a means of educating the public on the importance of riparian systems and their preservation.
Brief Description: In 2009, the New Jersey Audubon Society and the State of New Jersey Green Acres program preserved 145 acres of undeveloped land along the Musconetcong River in Mansfield Township. An additional 215 acres were preserved by Warren County with a farmland preservation easement. The section of the Musconetcong River that borders the preserved property, as well as a tributary to the Musconetcong that flows through the NJ Audubon portion of property, are both classified according to the New Jersey Surface Water Quality Standards (N.J.A.C. 7:9B et. seq.), as “FW2-TPC1” waters.
The requested funds will aid construction of a vernal pool and restore the site’s riparian corridor (currently maintained as lawn and row crop) through planting and removal of invasive species. A small portion of the funds will also be used for interpretive signage and materials. Funds contributed by other partners will be used to complete other project phases improving access to the site.
Resource Values/Project Outputs: The proposed restoration will improve the resource values of the property. The restored riparian corridor will improve water quality in the tributary and therefore in the Musconectcong Watershed by stabilizing the streambanks and creating a vegetated buffer where row crop and lawn is currently the predominate cover. The project will also create breeding habitat for amphibians in the vernal pool as well as shrub habitat beneficial to a number of nesting and migratory birds and native pollinating insects. Specific outputs include: 1/3 mile of high resource value riparian buffer planted to native shrubs and grasses; over 2800 sq. ft. of vernal pool habitat will be created; interpretive signage to explain the project concept as well as the contributions of the partners.
Cost/Budget: Cost of total project (including habitat restoration, interpretation and access improvements): $35,980. Budget: Supplies (liner, plant material, equipment, sand, gravel) - $9,420; Labor - $7,000; Interpretative material (signs, kiosk, trail) $7,000; Trail construction/access improvements: $12,560.
List of Partners: US Fish and Wildlife Service ($13,420 in cash and in-kind services from Partners and Delaware Bay programs), NJDEP Parks & Forestry ($12,560 requested from Trails Grant for trail construction and access improvements), PSEG ($5000 towards restoration and interpretation) NJ DEP Fish and Wildlife (In-kind services for gravel and help with access)Pinelands Nursery (donation of plant material)
CWRP/Contribution: $10,000 to be used in the construction of the vernal pool and to purchase plant material for both the vernal pool and riparian restoration.
Wattles Stewardship Center