Natural Habitat Creation and Restoration - Site Examples
Green Pond Oil Spill Site
A floodplain wetland on the south bank of the Pequannock River in Morris
County was contaminated by oil seeping out of the ground during a high water
event in the winter of 1996. The source was from a subsurface resevoir of oil
remaining from pipeline operations that transported oil from New York State to
Bayonne, NJ, in the late 1800's. The pipeline was abandoned in the 1920's and
removed, leaving behind surface deposits.
Six to eight inches of the native topsoil was removed as part of the initial spill cleanup effort denuding most of the wetland. The Natural Revegetation/Restoration effort commenced in the autumn of 1998 with the placement of a hemp mat and coir logs to stabilize the stream bank as all the vegetation had been removed during the cleanup operation. In the spring of 1999, plantings of potted shrubs and herbs were installed by a private landscaper who specializes in native plant installations. Deer fence was installed around the entire site to minimize the anticipated herbivory.
A monitoring program has been in effect to determine the ecological dynamics, natural recovery, and success of the restoration efforts.
|Autumn 1998 before restoration||Coir log installation|
|Spring 2002 panoramic view of revegetated / restored wetland looking south from photo rock location at Green Pond Oil Spill site|
|Fall 2002 panoramic view of revegetated / restored wetland looking south from photo rock location at the Green Pond Oil Spill site|
Invasive Species Management
Invasive species management has been an on-going activity at the Green Pond Oil Spill site from the outstart. During the first growing season following the wetland surface cleanup, pioneer invasives were observed and were eradicated by hand. In subsequent growing seasons, as native grasses, sedges and rushes emerged along with certain herbs and forbs from the seed bank, these pioneers did not survive.
Another invasive species, Purple Loosestrife, has been present since the first growing season and each year has increased in area coverage and community structure. In spite of a number of control attempts (e.g. herbicide application and removal of plants and flowering structures by hand), in 2001, a natural biological control agent was introduced. Three thousand adult Gallerucella beetles were released with another three thousand in 2002.
Continued monitoring of the beetle populations' impact on the Loosestrife will determine the overall effectiveness of this management strategy at the Green Pond Oil Spill site.
|Gallerucella larvae consuming Purple Loosestrife leaves||TEG's Invasives Expert Craig Bitler releasing Gallerucella at the Green Pond Spill site.|
The Eco-Strategies Group, P.O. Box
433, Allamuchy, NJ 07820
908-850-0859 Fax: 908-850-8406