Army Corps, partners conducting monitoring in New Jersey estuaries and back bay marshes

USACE Philadelphia District
Published July 8, 2021
A data-collection platform installed in shallow water.

The U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center recently installed seven platforms in estuary waterways and on the marsh behind Seven Mile Island. Data will be collected to help inform future dredging and marsh restoration efforts.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and partners are conducting monitoring in multiple locations along the marshes and in the waterways behind Seven Mile Island in Cape May County, N.J.

The monitoring is being conducted as part of the Seven Mile Island Innovation Lab, an initiative designed to advance and improve dredging and marsh restoration techniques in coastal New Jersey through innovative research, collaboration, knowledge sharing and practical application. The State of New Jersey and The Wetlands Institute are partners in the Innovation Lab.

Seven platforms with data collection instruments have been installed in various locations in estuary waterways and on the marsh. The platforms are helping researchers study waterways, shallow tidal flats and wetlands and monitor recent dredging and marsh restoration projects. Boaters, kayakers, and others recreating on the water should steer clear of the platforms to avoid disrupting data collection and the overall research effort.

About the Seven Mile Island Innovation Lab

The Army Corps’ Philadelphia District maintains the 117-mile long New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway. Sections of the waterway are periodically dredged to enable maritime navigation. When the dredged material is clean, the Army Corps looks for opportunities to use the material beneficially and retain it in the system to help ecosystems and build coastal resiliency. In April 2019, the Army Corps’ Philadelphia District partnered with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, the State of New Jersey, and The Wetlands Institute to launch the Seven Mile Island Innovation Lab. Innovation Lab partners have successfully conducted 8 dredging and marsh restoration projects that include creating habitat for the state’s wading bird colonies, providing nesting sites for beach nesting birds, enhancing marsh resilience through elevation enhancement, restoring unvegetated mud flats to marsh habitat, and creating sandy marsh edge protection features. The USACE and partners are committed to monitoring and research on the outcomes of these projects.

Steve Rochette

Release no. 21-017