Watergate Wetlands Restoration Project
The National Park Service (NPS) has decided to restore wetlands and the natural function of a stream and its floodplain by reversing man-made changes in and near the Watergate Recreation Site in Hardwick Township, Warren County, New Jersey. The project will compensate for temporary and permanent impacts to wetlands, floodplains, and ecosystem function caused by the construction, operation, and maintenance of a high-voltage transmission line and its 200-foot right-of-way within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
The project includes the conversion of the mowed lawn and shallow ponds at the Watergate Recreation Site into 20 acres of wetlands. Low, earthen dams and concrete dams will be removed throughout the site. Approximately 800 linear feet of Van Campens Brook would be restored, and the stream will be reconnected to its floodplain through the removal of approximately 4000 linear feet of a gravel road. Invasive plants will be treated, and native vegetation restored. Together, these actions will restore not only wetlands and the stream, but also the natural hydrology of the area and will provide an overall ecological uplift within the Van Campens Watershed.
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the National Park Service prepared an environmental assessment (EA) to evaluate the proposed action to restore wetlands, a stream, and its floodplain; to describe the environment that would be affected by the alternatives; and to assess the environmental consequences of implementing the alternatives. This environmental assessment examines and compares the consequences of not taking action (the continuation of the current condition and management of the site) with the consequences of taking action as described above.
On September 14, 2020 the National Park Service signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), in which the proposed action/preferred alternative described and analyzed in the EA was selected for implementation.
The project will have adverse effects to cultural resources. As such, the National Park Service and New Jersey Historic Preservation Office have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) which outlines measures to minimize and mitigate adverse effects on historic properties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The memorandum of agreement is Attachment C of the FONSI.
To download the EA and FONSI, please click on the "Document List" link above.
Kristy Boscheinen (570) 223-4335