Building a Stronger Coast
Culvert Work at Wreck Pond Resumes After Break to Protect Beach-Nesting Birds

 Least Tern Chick

September 13, 2016 - Construction of a 600-foot culvert at Wreck Pond in New Jersey was halted on April 8 due to seasonal restrictions that protect beach-nesting birds. Scientists found a colony of least terns and a pair of American oystercatchers -- this is the first time least tern have nested on site since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Work resumed after Labor Day and will continue until mid-December. The culvert will benefit migratory species such as river herring and eels by opening up nearly two miles of passageways and nursery habitat. The increased water flow will also protect the New Jersey communities surrounding this coastal tidal pond against flooding and storm surges.

The completion of the culvert will conclude the major construction plans for the Wreck Ponds resiliency project.

Read the press release
Learn more about the project


Least tern chick.
Credit. USFWS


Secretary Jewell Tours Hughesville Dam Removal in New Jersey

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

September 8, 2016 - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined Interior, state and local officials and partners at the Hughesville Dam removal on the Musconetcong River.

The removal of the Hughesville Dam is part of a larger collaborative effort to restore the 42-mile Musconetcong – a designated “Wild and Scenic River” – to a free-flowing state. Hughesville is the fifth dam to be removed, helping to open up fish passage while improving safety and flooding risks for the local community.

The project is one of a dozen dam removals in the Northeast supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery to help strengthen natural defenses along the Atlantic Coast and protect communities and wildlife against future storms predicted with a changing climate.

Read the press release
Learn more about the project


Secretary Jewell speaks at a press conference at the Hughesville Dam removal project.


White House recognizes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientist as 'Climate Change Champion'

Dr. Richard Bennett. Credit: USFWS

September 8, 2016 - Dr. Richard Bennett, regional scientist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Northeast Region based in Hadley, Mass., has been named 2016 GreenGov Presidential Awards Climate Champion for his leadership in Hurricane Sandy recovery. Following the devastation left by the storm in 2012, Bennett led the Department of the Interior response team, overseeing $167 million in FWS project funding to help revitalize the Northeast and to protect it from future storms and sea-level rise. Bennett worked to launch more than 100 sustainability-focused projects, and led a team that developed performance metrics for climate resilience that are changing the way the federal government prepares for severe weather events.

News release



Dr. Richard Bennett.
Credit: USFWS


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Last updated: July 27, 2016