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and Ecological Histories in Barnegat
Bay, New Jersey - June 2011
The primary objective of this project
was to collect sediment cores from
tidal regions of Barnegat Bay and
determine the chronology of nutrient
changes (i.e., nitrogen and phosphorus)
and associated ecosystem level responses.
Sediment nitrogen concentrations
increased towards the surface in
three of the 4 cores collected indicating
an increase in nutrient loading
from portions of the watershed.
Sediment nitrogen accumulation rates
increased twofold at the up-bay
site starting in the mid-1950s.
Algal diatoms indicate major shifts
toward more eutrophic conditions
starting in the 1940-1950s consistent
with an increase in sediment nutrients
and appear to indicate impacts from
increasing population and land use
in the northern part of Barnegat
Bay, an area with urban and suburban
land use. The southern site is situated
in a rural or semi-rural area and
was the least impacted. Wetlands
in Barnegat Bay can sequester approximately
79 % of the nitrogen and 54 % of
the phosphorus estimated to be entering
the Bay from upland sources. This
illustrates the important ecosystem
services that marshes can perform
and how important it is to maintain
and enhance marshes within Barnegat
Bay. Sedimentation rates on salt
marshes are at, or just below, the
rate of relative sea level rise
in Barnegat Bay. These relatively
low rates of accretion render the
marsh vulnerable to inundation should
the rate of sea level rise accelerate
in the future. Overall, the irreversible
shifts recorded by diatom species
suggest that, despite the fact that
the Barnegat Bay wetlands are protected
by both federal and state laws,
these sites remain impacted by anthropogenic
disturbances and did not return
to their natural, reference conditions.
On the contrary, the most recent changes suggest an increase in habitat
deterioration and pollution. Thus,
the changes recorded in diatom species
convey a strong message to identify
and limit all sources of nutrients
that contribute to the degradation
of the estuary and its watershed.
Biological Indicators for New Jersey
Case Study: Forested Riparian Wetlands
in the Highlands of New Jersey - May 2006
The goals of this research were
to build upon various wetland assessment
projects conducted by New Jersey
and to aid in development of a rapid
wetland assessment tool that could
work toward fulfilling the EPA mandate.
A specific goal of this project
was to identify biological indicators
that reflect the ecological health
and condition of riverine wetlands
in the Highlands physiographic region.
Longer-term goals are to better
understand a) wetland condition
and its relationship to water quality
and b) to understand how broadly
biological indicators can be applied
to wetlands that vary in location,
type and extent.
of Wetland Quality and Function
Assessment Tools and Demonstration
- June 2004
specific goal of this study was
to enhance the state's ability to
identify indicators for wetland
value and function. To this end,
the study focused on a suite of
rapid assessment tools designed
to evaluate wetland quality and
function that could be readily implemented
in the field.
A - Database
a Wetlands Mitigation Rapid Assessment
Tool at Mitigation and Reference
Wetlands within a New Jersey Watershed
- June 2004
project and the companion study
above, Development of Wetland Quality
and Function Assessment Tools and
Demonstration, address approaches
to assessing wetland function. The
specific purpose of this study was
to assist NJDEP in evaluation of
the wetland qualitative assessment
method that was developed to determine
the probability that mitigated wetlands
will perform wetland functions.
Indicators of Wetland Status (Quantity
and Quality): Freshwater Wetland
Mitigation in New Jersey - March 2002
primary objectives of this study
were to assess New Jersey’s
progress toward wetlands mitigation
goals and develop indicators of
progress toward these goals. The
research was conducted by Amy S.
Greene Environmental Consultants,
Inc. (ASGECI), and co-managed by
scientists from both the New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection’s
(NJDEP) Division of Science, Research
and Technology (DSRT) and NJDEP’s
wetlands regulatory program (Land
Use Regulation Program or LURP).
This study was supported by NJDEP’s
Water Assessment and Environmental
Indicators Research Programs. Relevant
NJDEP managers were kept apprised
of interim results and a peer review
committee of leading state and national
wetland scientists provided guidance
throughout the duration of the study.
For additional information about
this report, please see the Dear Reader section.
Summary and Introduction
Recommendations & References
questions or comments regarding
Wetlands research, please contact Dr.
Division of Science, Research and Environmental Health
Dr. Gary A. Buchanan, Director
code 428-01, P.O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 0862
Fax: (609) 292-7340
For Information regarding this site,
please contact Terri Tucker.