Watergate Wetlands Restoration Project
NPS proposes to restore wetlands, floodplains, and streams near the Watergate Recreation Site by removing man-made dams and ponds, creating a wetland meadow complex in their place, and reestablishing the connection between Van Campens Brook and its floodplain. Van Campens Brook is classified by the state of New Jersey as an FW-2- Trout Production stream, and maintaining high water quality and a cool stream temperature are crucial to this project. Reconnecting the brook to its floodplain will increase resiliency of the system during major flooding events. Some small areas of open water will remain within the wetlands as habitat.
Portions of the Columbia-Walpack Turnpike Trail between Watergate and Millbrook Village act as a berm or levee, preventing springs and a wetland from connecting with Van Campens Brook. The trail would remain in its current alignment, but features may be added (such as broad-based dips or channels with boardwalk above) to enable water to move unconstrained across the trail alignment.
Recreation opportunities at the Watergate Recreation Site would continue to be available, but may change location. The picnic area would be converted into a wetland, but a new picnic site may be established uphill and closer to the parking lot and restrooms. Trail connectivity would be restored between the Van Campens Glen Trail to Watergate, and Watergate to Millbrook Village, but on a different route in order to avoid the wetlands. Open-water fishing opportunities will be very limited after restoration of the wetlands, but fly-fishing opportunities in Van Campens Brook will continue to be available. Bird-watching will continue to be available.
This is a conceptual design. Detailed design, engineering, and permitting will be done in the next phase of the project (expected 2019-2020)
Kristy Boscheinen (570) 426-2439