Elizabeth, New Jersey Wetland Restoration – Ecological Uplift in an Urban Setting

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Michael Rehman , Mark Gallagher

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This urban wetland restoration site was a previously significantly disturbed mosaic of wetland and upland woodland comprised of a monoculture of common reed (Phragmites australis), and eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), respectively, on historic fill. Restoration efforts included removal of common reed, historic fill, and associated refuse; grading to appropriate elevations to support targeted freshwater wetland habitats; and subsequently planting desirable native flora. Inherent in all restoration projects in New Jersey and the surrounding region are the challenges associated with deer and Canada goose herbivory; invasive species management; and adaptive management strategies that are costly and time sensitive to maintain a restoration site’s positive developmental trajectory. Presently, there are a variety of freshwater wetland habitats, ranging from inundated emergent wetland to forested wetland that are rare in this highly urbanized portion of New Jersey. Additionally, its location adjacent to an existing tidal wetland mitigation site has resulted in a contiguous greenspace providing valuable ecosystem services, including sediment retention and roosting, foraging, and nesting opportunities for both resident and migratory bird species.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program