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Deep Run Natural Area Wetland Restoration Project

The restoration at Deep Run is one of a series of projects that make up the Middlesex County Wetland Restoration (MCWR) project, a joint effort by Middlesex County, Green Trust Alliance (GTA), GreenVest (GV) and Princeton Hydro (PH) to meet two important objectives: 1. to fulfill state and local goals for restoration, open space use/management and greenway connections by improving ecosystem services provided by open spaces within Middlesex County, and 2. to provide compensatory mitigation for permanent freshwater wetland impacts within the Raritan Basin watershed, located within the Reading Prong/Northern Piedmont Lowland Eco‐region, as well as the Arthur Kill Basin watershed, located within the NJ/NY Piedmont Eco‐region. These projects use funds from the New Jersey Wetlands Mitigation Council’s In Lieu Fee program.

The project site is located within Deep Run Preserve, which is publicly-owned land in the Middlesex County Park system in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey. The preserve is in the headwaters of the South River watershed and is part of the New Jersey Piedmont Plains region. This region is extensively developed with only about 10% of the area suitable for wildlife concern, making it a valuable candidate for restoration. The primary goal of this project was to restore and enhance over 18 acres of headwater wetlands whose function had been reduced by invasive plant species. Additional restoration work at this site included restoring and enhancing tidal and freshwater hydrology, removing invasive exotic plant species and re-establishing native wetland plant communities, and creating and enhancing functioning tidal emergent wetlands and non-tidal freshwater emergent scrub-shrub wetlands. Construction on this project was completed in May 2017. A variety of reptile, herps, and avian species were observed within the sites during the 2017 construction period. Spotted Turtles and bald eagles were often seen in the project areas. Based on field observations, the newly created & enhanced wetlands have responded well, and the sites are already providing greatly lifted wildlife habitat and food chain support values.

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