Construction of the fish passage will take a Piping Plover pause beginning next week. Five more segments will go in by the end of this week, bringing culvert length to about 460 feet. The construction crew will demobilize early next week and will return after Labor Day to finish the last 140 feet of the passage between pond and ocean.
But there will still be things happening at Wreck Pond in the Spring and Summer. Fish monitoring will continue next week and PIT tagging of herring will begin. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or if you are interested in volunteering. And check WreckPond.org for more projects updates.
The first alewife of the season was caught Wednesday morning (March 23) at Wreck Pond. Fish monitoring will continue now until June, around and during the new and full moons. The cofferdam is being set for installation of another 50-60 feet of fish passage which will bring the total to 470 feet at some time next week. Demobilization is still set for the first week in April. As of now, there have been no Piping Plover observed on or around the site.
The fyke net is set once again at Spring Lake’s Wreck Pond to see if all this warm weather has led to an early herring run. The net will be tended twice a day to collect more fish data and confirm timing of the herring run over the next few months. Check back with the new moon to see what we have been catching.
The first 300 feet of fish passage are complete and regraded to pre-Sandy conditions. The knife gate and stop logs are installed on the pond side of the culvert, and construction continues towards the ocean. By the end of day on March 16 more than 400 feet of culvert sections will be in the ground. Site contractor Simpson and Brown plan reach 470 feet before they have to stop work on April 7 for Piping Plover nesting season. A Plover monitor will be on-site until that date to ensure work doesn’t encroach on any birds that get an early start on nesting. Outreach for the project continued with Habitat Restoration Coordinator Jenna Krug and USFWS Project Biologist Katie Conrad making a presentation about the project on Monday, March 14 at the Society of Ecological Restoration Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Also, plans have been made for local high school students to make field trips to the Wreck Pond site in April and May. Check back weekly for more information.
Work at Wreck Pond presses forward. The knife gate and stop logs located at the pond end of the culvert have been installed, culvert pieces continue to be delivered, and wooden piles are being driven, with Simpson and Brown anticipating having 430 feet of the culvert completed by March 15.
Starting on that same date a certified bird monitor will be onsite to look for piping plovers at the project site. These little shorebirds are state endangered and federally threatened, and thus it is important to not disturb their nesting grounds during their breeding and nesting season.
With a work extension granted to April 7th, Simpson and Brown are hopeful they will be able to reach 480’ before demobilizing for the summer.
About 50 people attended Saturday’s Lunch and Learn for an update about the Wreck Pond restoration project and the future of the Jersey Shore in the face of a changing climate. Executive Director, Tim Dillingham introduced the film, “Climate Change and the Jersey Shore” with a brief overview and spoke about how we need to change our habits to reduce our carbon input. Capt. Al Modjeski provided a presentation on the background, goals, and progress of the work on the 73-acre coastal lake.
You can watch the Climate Change video below:
The knife gate, which will control whether the fish passage is open or closed, is now installed. Newly installed sections of box culvert have also been put in place and covered with sand. The coffer dam has been relocated to accommodate work on the next 100 foot segment. Things will get interesting in the next few weeks as the work edges closer to the ocean.Check back next week for another project update. Please contact Habitat Restoration Coordinator, Jenna Krug at email@example.com, with any questions. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more frequent updates and project photos.