New Jersey has completed a major flooding control project at a tidal pond in Monmouth County.
The $7.4 million project at Wreck Pond involved the construction of a 600-foot concrete culvert to restore tidal flows between the Atlantic Ocean and the 73-acre waterway that straddles Spring Lake and Sea Girt, according to a release from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The pond’s natural inlet was closed in 1930s, when a pipe was added to connect with the ocean. That led to restricted tidal flows, worse tidal flooding, and poorer water quality, the release said.
The new culvert, constructed of interconnected concrete boxes supported by pilings driven into the sand, will effectively act as an inlet by using a gate to manage water levels during storm events.
The release also said that the water quality in the pond will improve since water will flush into the ocean daily. The pipe will also help fish to enter the pond and spawn.
A second phase will include dredging and the construction of a sand berm planted with native vegetation.
“This project combines restoration of an important coastal environment with reducing the vulnerability of the local communities to future hazards,” the American Littoral Society’s Tim Dillingham said. “It successfully demonstrates how restoring the coastal environment can help the shore bounce back from storms while improving daily life for people and wildlife in the surrounding area.”
The project was funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service through a post-Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Grant, the Borough of Spring Lake, and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Other project partners include the County of Monmouth, the Borough of Sea Girt, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.