wreck pond concrete boxSPRING LAKE, NJ - Work has begun on the key component for restoration of Wreck Pond in Spring Lake, NJ. The American Littoral Society and friends of the project will mark the occasion with a construction kick-off event on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m.

The event will take place on the boardwalk at the corner of Brown and Ocean avenues in Spring Lake, NJ. In case of rain, the event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m. The public is invited to join us.

A chain of massive concrete boxes will soon form a link between the pond and the Atlantic Ocean. That underground passage will dramatically improve water flow between the ocean and the pond, which should reduce pollution in the coastal lake Other aspects of the project will enhance community resiliency to future weather events such as Superstorm Sandy.

In addition to water quality improvements, the new conduit will also help mitigate flooding in the area surrounding Wreck Pond and create a more natural passageway for breeding fish.

wreck pond improvementsGiven that this project should help alleviate decades-old problems and help restore life to a scenic body of water, we think it should be commemorated.

The Jan. 19 event will recognize those who have played an integral role in supporting the project, provide updates on progress, and give attendees insight on the future of Wreck Pond. Among those speaking at the event will be US Rep. Chris Smith, Bob Martin, Commissioner of New Jersey's Dept. of Environmental Protection, and Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton. They will be joined by NJ Assemblyman David Rible, Monmouth County Freeholders Tom Arnone and Gary Rich, and Eric Schrading, NJ Field Office Supervisor for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

USFWS is the primary funder for the fish passage component. Additional project funding is from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the Borough of Spring Lake, and NJDEP.

NJDEP, under Commissioner Martin, has been focused for years on water quality and flooding issues related to Wreck Pond. The agency has been working with a number of organizations to help educate the public and pursue mitigation projects related to the 73-acre coastal lake.

Rep. Smith has been instrumental in bringing coastal lakes in Monmouth and Ocean counties to the attention of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Thanks to his efforts, New Jersey towns with coastal lakes could be in line for federal funding that would help solve problems that were exacerbated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

For more information on the event, contact David Hawkins, Communications Manager for the American Littoral Society. More information on the Wreck Pond project can be found at http://www.WreckPond.org.

Wreck Pond is located on the borders of Spring Lake and Sea Girt, NJ. It serves as the eastern extent of the Wreck Pond Brook Watershed, which is home to over 12 square miles of important habitat for birds, fish, and other wildlife. It is fed by three main tributaries -- Wreck Pond Brook, Black Creek, and Hannabrand Brook -- that together, with smaller creeks and streams, drain the boroughs of Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, and Wall Township in Monmouth County, NJ.

Historically, Wreck Pond had a natural inlet; however, in the 1930's the inlet was filled in, and a pipe was installed to connect the lake to the ocean. Over time, inadequate tidal circulation between the pond and ocean, coupled with impacts from increased development, led to a number of environmental issues within the watershed. Those include erosion, impaired water quality, flooding, and reduced fish populations.

A diverse group of partners has been working together to address these issues and help restore the ecological health of Wreck Pond and the larger watershed. This current project involves the construction of a fish passage (which will also increase water exchange with the ocean), construction of an elevated berm and living shorelines, and localized dredging. This work will serve to improve water quality, reduce area flooding, and aid fish passage into and out of Wreck Pond. Together, the many components of this project will make a big difference in improving the area for people and wildlife for years to come.

Project funders include the US Fish and Wildlife Service, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Borough of Spring Lake. Project partners include the County of Monmouth, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Leon S. Avakian, Inc., Najarian Associates, Inc., the Borough of Sea Girt, the Wreck Pond Brook Watershed Technical Advisory Committee and Regional Stormwater Management Plan Committee, Rutgers University Cooperative Extension, and Monmouth University.

For more information about the American Littoral Society or to become a member, please visit www.littoralsociety.org or call 732-291-0055.