Bridge Creek Salt Marsh Restoration

State TrusteeNew York Department of Environmental Conservation

Case Name:


United States of America

Restoration Types:

Habitat Enhancement


Affected DOI Resources:

Migratory Birds


Staten Island



Project Description

Bridge Creek is a tributary of the Arthur Kill in northwestern Staten Island, NY. Tidal salt marshes were historically prevalent along Bridge Creek until the 1950s when the creek was channelized and large portions of the marshes were filled in for industrial development. The headwaters of the creek arise in Goethals Pond. Formerly a salt marsh, the pond formed after the construction of a railroad embankment greatly restricted tidal flow from Bridge Creek. The largest remaining expanse of salt marsh in the watershed, today known as the Wilpon Marsh, was acquired in 1994 using funds from the Exxon Bayway oil spill settlement and added to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (NYS DEC) Goethals Pond Complex. In 1995, the NY/NJ Harbor Oil Spill Restoration Committee provided funding to restore the degraded Wilpon Marsh. The project included excavating and removing sediments from Bridge Creek and smaller tidal creeks to improve tidal flow, and eradicating invasive common reeds (Phragmites) that had proliferated throughout the marsh. A 2.67 acre disposal pit was created along the upland edge to dispose of 10,000 cubic yards of Phragmites roots and rhizomes. It was capped to prevent the species from becoming re-established. After the marsh was graded, approximately 60,000 smooth cordgrass and 20,000 salt hay seedlings were planted over a 13 acre area, along with about 1,000 woody high marsh plants such as marsh elder and groundsel tree. The plants were protected from geese and other waterfowl using fencing for two years after planting. With assistance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Restoration Center, the NYS DEC monitored vegetative growth and fish and bird utilization in the marsh until 2006. The marsh now provides important foraging habitat for migratory waterfowl and the "Harbor Herons", wading birds that nest on islands throughout the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary such as great egrets, glossy ibises, and green herons.

Restoration Land Ownership


Parties Implementing Restoration

New York Department of Environmental Conservation

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

Restoration Documents

Document NameDocument Date
No records to display.

Map View


New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office

4 East Jimmie Leeds Road, Suite 4, Galloway, NJ 08205 | (609) 383-3938 |

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