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Neshanic River Headwater Restoration

Project Purpose: To improve the property’s ecological value by accomplishing the following goals on an approximately 7.5 acre portion of the property:  1) restore the headwaters to improve water quality draining to the Neshanic River and increase floodwater storage to improve base flow; 2) create vernal pool habitat; and 3) enhance habitat for grassland-dependent species. 

Brief Description: To achieve the above-stated goals, the following will be carried out: 1) create a natural drainage pattern with channels, rivulets and pools to allow more infiltration, reduce erosion, and therefore improve the hydrology and quality of water entering the Neshanic River; and 2) create pools in the riparian zone that will serve as habitat for vernal species that presently do not have habitat on the site.  These two objectives would be accomplished by grading and removing fill from the floodplain in key areas.  Additionally 3) gaining control over the invasive species (tree-of-heaven and reed canary grass) is necessary to establish a diverse native assemblage of vegetation that is beneficial to the grassland species that occur in this grassland complex.  This would be accomplished by low-volume targeted herbicide applications.

Resource Values /Project Outputs:  The project will aim to increase floodwater storage and reduce erosion, to provide habitat for amphibians and reptiles, and to enhance habitat for grassland-dependent species

Cost/Budget:  $60,000

Schedule: Restoration activities (reed canary grass management and wetland delineation) to commence Spring 2011, contingent on funding; tree-of-heaven management and grading work to commence in Fall 2011

Permit Status: Freshwater Wetlands General Permit 16 application for Habitat Creation and Enhancement preparation initiated

List of Partners:  D&R Greenway, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the NJ Water Supply Authority’s Watershed Protection Unit

What is requested of CWRP: $15,000 for assistance with restoration activities

Requests pending: $35,000 with the balance of the project cost allocated to in-kind services

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