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Innovation Lab to Begin Marsh Restoration Project in Fall

Innovation Lab to Begin Marsh Restoration Project in Fall

By Vince Conti

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STONE HARBOR – A new project using dredge material to restore marshland will begin this fall, the Borough Council was told at its work session April 16.

Dr. Lenore Tedesco, executive director of the Wetlands Institute, outlined the project during the Natural Resources Committee’s report at the meeting.

Tedesco spoke of the high water in the marsh that has so far characterized 2024. She said the marsh had protected a number of areas from flooding, but it also suffered high marsh drowning, meaning the high water levels have led to erosion of material from the marsh into the bay.

“We are seeing the marsh being lowered while the water level rises,” she said.

Tedesco described the project as building back marsh height through the beneficial use of appropriate dredge material. The project is part of the Seven Mile Island Innovation Lab, which brings the Wetlands Institute into a joint effort with the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Protection.

She said the project will be on a 12-acre section of the marsh adjacent to the Wetlands Institute, making it one of the more publicly visible such projects. “The public will be able to see it,” she said, adding that plans are being developed to use the project for some educational programming.

Tedesco said the fall project will be the eighth such effort by the Innovation Lab, which to date has restored more than 100 acres of marsh, making use of 175,000 cubic yards of dredge material.

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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