As part of the Corporate Wetlands
Restoration Partnership, Atlantic City Electric provided funding for the
restoration of Cox Hall Creek tidal wetlands. Cox Hall Creek is an 87-acre
tidal basin in Lower Township, Cape May County, N.J. In the late 1800s, this
area of wetlands was disconnected from the Delaware Bay to facilitate salt hay
farming and mosquito control. This drastic change restricted important tidal
flushing. The altered hydrologic regime has converted the Cox Hall Creek basin
into a low-quality freshwater system dominated by a monotypic stand of the
invasive phragmites, or common reed, which provides minimal value to waterfowl
and other wildlife.
The restoration of native habitat along
the New Jersey coast is critical for wildlife, especially migratory birds. Both
the Cape May Peninsula and the Delaware Bay are world-renowned for supporting
an abundance and diversity of shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl, which
utilize mud flats and shallow wetlands to refuel during migration.
The purpose of the Cox Hall Creek
restoration is to restore estuarine intertidal emergent wetlands for fish and
wildlife through the reintroduction of tidal inundation into the basin. It will
be accomplished by installing a large water control structure and connecting pipe
to facilitate managed bidirectional flow between the basin and Delaware Bay.
Control of the phragmites will be accomplished through improved exchange
between the two water bodies.