Osprey Population Enhancement Supplemental Environmental Project, Bayonne, NJ
Environmental cleanup and construction of the Bayonne Golf Club resulted in disturbances to freshwater wetlands. An Administrative Consent Order issued by the DEP required compensation for these damages, which resulted, in part, in the construction of two tidal marshes at the site to provide habitat for fishery and water bird resources. Numerous species depend on this part of the Upper New York Bay as residents, seasonal transients, and long-range migrants.
One of these species is the osprey, a large fish-eating hawk that once thrived along New Jersey’s entire coastal margin. Historical use of the insecticide DDT decimated osprey populations in the decades following World War II. In New Jersey the osprey was listed as endangered in 1974. Although there has been a rebound of the osprey population in New Jersey, the distribution of osprey in the state is disproportionate with few nesting pairs occurring in the urban – industrial northeast. This is due to habitat limitations and the lack of suitable nest platforms. Because of its location on the Upper New York Bay, the Bayonne Golf Club provides excellent habitat for osprey.
As part of this SEP, three osprey nest platforms were built in 2011 along the margin of its salt marsh mitigation area to increase the nesting population. Construction of the platforms was overseen by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, an organization committed to helping to manage and protect the statewide population of ospreys. To date no nesting pairs have been observed, but ospreys are using the platforms as perching locations.
Click here to view the ospreys living at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlie Reserve in Oceanville.