Stone Harbor Point Project to Improve Habitat for Coastal Birds and Increase Resiliency to Future Storms Completed and Beach Reopened
The beach restoration phase of a habitat and coastal resiliency project on Stone Harbor Point was successfully completed ahead of the arrival of piping plovers and the onset of nesting of beach nesting birds. The project teams worked tirelessly through incredibly harsh weather conditions that included severe flooding, high winds and several snowstorms. In the end, more than 50,000 cubic yards of sand were transferred from the southern end of the point near Hereford Inlet to construct elevated habitat areas for beach-nesting and migratory birds. Sand harvesting removed the upper 2 feet of sand from just above the high tide line and was used to construct three small platforms that are now above spring tide flooding elevations. The areas are difficult to detect as they only rise a few feet above the surrounding beach elevation and wind and tides have already sculpted them into a natural-looking beach feature. The project also enhanced an existing dune to provide protection to the community from southerly approaching storms. The dune crosses the access road and has been constructed to continue to allow permitted vehicles access to Stone Harbor Point for emergency access, patrols and seasonal fishing. Access to Stone Harbor Point was reopened on March 12th.
The restoration is a collaborative project funded by the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Grant Program. New Jersey Audubon Society is working in partnership with Niles and Associates, LLC., The Wetlands Institute, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, and the Borough of Stone Harbor.
Project updates and additional information can be found at:
NJAS project site
NJAS Blog Postings
The Wetlands Institute project website