Building a Stronger Coast
New Jersey Barrier Removal Improves Fish Habitat in Westecunk Creek

Removal of the Westecunk Creek Barrier in Eagleswood, N.J. will restore passage to eight miles of upstream spawning and rearing habitat for resident and migratory fish species; including alewife, blueback herring and American eels.  Credit: Rebecca Reeves/USFWS

December 10, 2015 – This week U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is leading an effort to remove the Westecunk Creek Barrier in Eagleswood, New Jersey. The $245,000 project will restore passage to eight miles of upstream spawning and rearing habitat for resident and migratory fish species including alewife, blueback herring and American eel. Rebecca Reeves, fish and wildlife biologist with the Service’s New Jersey field office, says the project also will include planting and seeding of native species. Removal of the barrier is expected by end of this month. The Service is working with Barnegat Bay Partnership, managed by Ocean County College, to collect data on fish passage above and below the barrier. Data will be collected both before and after restoration, providing reports of the project’s success rate. 

News release
More about Westecunk Creek Barrier removal project


Removal of the Westecunk Creek Barrier in Eagleswood, N.J. will restore passage to eight miles of upstream spawning and rearing habitat for resident and migratory fish species; including alewife, blueback herring and American eels. Credit: Rebecca Reeves/USFWS


Local Students Tour and Learn at Wreck Pond, NJ Before Inlet and Dune Restoration Begins

St. Rose High School students tour and monitor fish at Wreck Pond, N.J.

November 24, 2015 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with American Littoral Society (ALS), is set to begin the federally funded Wreck Pond Inlet and dunes restoration project this month in Monmouth County, N.J. This Hurricane Sandy recovery effort creates a secondary culvert pipe that improves fish passage and reduces risk of flooding during storms by doubling the amount of water flow to and from the coastal lake. In advance of construction, the ALS helped 42 students from St. Rose High School better understand the characteristics and importance of Wreck Pond and its watershed. During a tour of the project site students helped assess fish and habitat areas and took a nature walk. "We hope they had fun, learned lots, and came away feeling a greater connection to their local environment," said ALS’ Zack Royle.

View photos of the student visit to Wreck Pond Inlet
More about the Wreck Pond restoration project
American Littoral Society Wreck Pond Blog

St. Rose High School students tour and monitor fish at Wreck Pond, N.J. Credit: Al Modjeski, American Littoral Society


Hyde Pond Dam Removal Proceeding in CT

The Hyde Pond Dam removal project in Mystic, Conn., will remove the dam on Whitford Brook, a tributary of the Mystic River.

November 19, 2015 –  Work has begun on the Hyde Pond dam removal project on Whitford Brook, a tributary of the Mystic River. The project will help improve wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of flooding from future storms. Removal of the dam will restore fish passage to 4.1 stream miles and habitat for aquatic species such as alewife, blueback herring and American eel. It will also provide flood storage capacity for the watershed, reduce river flood flow elevations to enhance downstream flood control and benefit local tourism economies, such as commercial fishing.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with Save the Sound, a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, has provided funding and technical assistance for this project. "We have partnered with Save the Sound on two dam removals in Connecticut this year. Both projects not only help improve habitat for native fish and wildlife, but they also help protect local communities by reducing the risk of floods from intense storms like Sandy," said Service fish and wildlife biologist Lori Benoit. Final restoration and completion is expected spring 2016.

News release
Read more about the Hyde Pond dam removal
View photos of Hyde Pond dam prior to removal

The Hyde Pond Dam removal project in Mystic, Conn., will remove the dam on Whitford Brook, a tributary of the Mystic River. Credit: CFE/Save the Sound


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Last updated: January 7, 2016