Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program
M/T Athos I Crude Oil Spill
United States of America
Habitat Creation; Habitat Enhancement
Affected DOI Resources:
Migratory Birds; Recreational Use Loss
Lower Alloways Creek Township
To compensate for injuries to migratory birds and shoreline habitat caused by the M/T Athos I oil spill, the Trustees proposed a wetland restoration project at Mad Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area. The 260-acre restoration site contains tidal marshes, transitional wetlands invaded by common reeds (Phragmites), and wetland areas that were filled in for upland agricultural use. A large portion of the site is the former Quashne property that was acquired using settlement funds from the M/V Presidente Rivera oil spill.
Located near the Delaware Bay, the site is tidally influenced and was historically dominated by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and salt hay (Spartina patens). The project will include eradicating Phragmites, removing fill material, and lowering the marsh elevation to allow for tidal inundation and expansion of the salt marsh. Approximately 60 acres of low marsh will be created, edged by about 5 acres of high marsh and 3.5 acres of scrub-shrub habitat. In addition, about 35 acres of wet meadow habitat would be created by excavating the upland areas. The excavated sediments will be used to create about 100 acres of grassland habitat. The project is currently in the design phase and expected to be completed in 2025.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Fish and Wildlife Service
The shoreline in this section of the Mad Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area has eroded and been invaded by Phragmites., Credit: NJDEP
A portion of the salt marsh had been filled in decades ago for agricultural use. The alterations to the hydrology of the wetland allowed Phragmites to become established., Credit: NJDEP
New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office
4 East Jimmie Leeds Road, Suite 4, Galloway, NJ 08205 | (609) 383-3938 | http://www.fws.gov/northeast/njfieldoffice/