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Aquatic Connectivity & Flood Resilience in NJ: Removing the Hughesville Dam in Pohatcong and Restoring the Wreck Pond Inlet and Dunes

Location: New Jersey

Project type: Resilience

Funding awarded: $3,050,000


Wreck Pond Inlet and dunes restoration project began December 2015

The Wreck Pond Inlet and dunes restoration project broke ground in mid December in Monmouth County, N.J. This project will construct a 600-foot secondary culvert connecting Wreck Pond to the ocean and enhancing fish passage, improving water quality, and reducing flooding risks. The work, supported by federal funding from the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Act, is anticipated to be completed in summer 2017.

Project Summary

Flood resilience in New Jersey will be improved at two locations. Removal of the Hughesville Dam will reduce the risk of dam failure and upstream flooding, protect human safety and restore access to five miles of habitat for migratory fish species. A secondary box culvert will provide for seasonal passage of fish in two miles of habitat. In addition, dune reconstruction at Wreck Pond will add nesting habitat for piping plovers and provide storm surge dune protection for the towns of Sea Girt and Spring Lake, New Jersey.

Conservation Goals

  • Restore fish access and passage to a total of seven miles of stream habitat
  • Eliminate risk of dam failure
  • Restore dune habitat for federally listed piping plover

Project Benefits

  • Removes dam and mitigates flood risk (Hughesville)
  • Provides storm surge protection for towns of Sea Girt and Spring Lake (Wreck Pond)
  • Restores five miles of access to upstream spawning and rearing habitat to eels, herring, shad and striped bass
  • Restores plover habitat (Wreck Pond)
  • Opens up two miles of fish passage to spawning and nursery habitat for herring and eels (Wreck Pond)

Project Partners


  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), N.J. Dam Safety Section
  • New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • American Rivers
  • New Jersey Resource and Development Council
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA
  • Trout Unlimited
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)
  • Warren Glenn Investments LLC (dam owner)

Wreck Pond

  • Town of Sea Girt
  • Town of Spring Lake
  • Monmouth County
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Bureau of Coastal Engineering
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NY District (ACOE)
  • American Littoral Society

Additional Details

Dam removals and culvert replacements provide both greater connectivity in natural aquatic systems and decreased risk of flooding to adjacent communities. Dune restoration contributes to both storm surge protection and critical habitat preservation. The project will benefit Trust species including the federally endangered piping plover as well as least terns and migratory fish. Students will assist in both facets of the resilience project, in stream bank stabilization and planting and monitoring for dune revegetation. Partners include the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, American Rivers, the American Littoral Society, NOAA, state fish and wildlife and several others.

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Dam Removal Project Map

Wreck Pond Restoration Photos

Hughesville Dam Removal Photos

Last updated: January 12, 2016