The New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife is working on a restoration project that would restore tidal flow to the Pond Creek and Higbee Beach section of the township by 2023. Not only would it be beneficial for wildlife, but the community would benefit from added walking trails, wildlife viewing platforms and a planned education center.
“This isn’t just a home run, this is a grand slam for Lower Township,” said Mayor Frank Sippel and noted that the project benefits the natural beauty and the growing eco-tourism industry in the community.
Cape May’s Higbee Beach To Be Restored
Dave Golden, director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) updated Lower Township Council Monday on the three phases of the project. Golden explained that the project in the Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area, which stretches from the former magnesite factory site to the Cape May Canal, was about 1,200 acres.
Phase one and two of the project involves resorting tidal flow to Pond Creek, which would restore the marsh and eliminate the invasive phragmites plants. The marsh would also have an exterior berm, which would be open to the public through walking trails and wildlife viewing blinds and platforms. That portion of the project is expected to be underway by late 2022 and early 2023.
Phase three would be the construction of an education interpretative center, which would be located near the location of the former magnesite plant.
“It is exciting from a habitat restoration standpoint, “said Golden. “But it is also exciting from a public access standpoint. You’ll see a lot more people coming to this area of Lower Township, especially during migration season.”
Members of the public wear eager to see renderings of the Pond Creek Restoration Project with the only complaint being that they wish the work could start sooner.
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