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Kenco (Pequest WMA) Wetland Restoration and Enhancement Project

 

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is involved in a wetland restoration and enhancement project along the Pequest River in the Pequest WMA. The 90.47 acre Kenco acquisition is located in Block 29, Lot 28 in the Township of Independence, Warren County, NJ. The project site is comprised mainly of agricultural fields (most recent recently used as a sod farm) which total approximately 70 acres. The remaining 20 acres of the site is a mature forested wetland. The Pequest River forms the western boundary of the site. The bed of the Lehigh and Hudson Railroad borders the property to the east and will be part of the Paulinskill Valley rails to trails system, managed by NJDEP Division of Parks and Forestry.

The project area was ditched and drained over the years to facilitate agricultural production, until the purchase by the DEP in 2012. Currently, runoff from onsite and upstream agricultural fields flows through an extensive surface ditch system into a large collector ditch which empties into to the Pequest River. The ditch system functions to drain the project area and has affected the hydrology in the both the fields and the forested wetlands.

The Kenco project will restore native wetland plant communities to what was historically wetland habitat. These native wetland plant communities will provide wildlife habitat, enhance water quality, provide critical flood relief and additional flood storage, as well as provide the public with access to fishing, hunting, bird-watching and other outdoor recreational opportunities. The Kenco restoration project will include plugging ditches, re-grading, control of invasive species, seeding native grasses, planting native trees, and installation of habitat structures.

While the project area will be temporarily off-limits during restoration activities, the property will be opened to the public as soon as these activities are completed in 2018. The project will ultimately feature stabilized fishing access, a trail to the rear portions of the property, and educational kiosks and information platforms.

For more information, please contact Susan Predl at susan.predl@dep.nj.gov.

Habitat Restoration Projects Page

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: July 27, 2017