The Oxford Western Wetland Mitigation Bank received its Individual Flood Hazard Area Permit and Freshwater Wetlands General Permit 16 from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on December 16, 2011. These permits allow ERG to begin constructing a Wetland Mitigation Bank that will be able to sell mitigation credits in New Jersey Watershed Management Areas 1 & 2 (Northwest New Jersey).
The mitigation bank will result in 74.5 acres of restored wetlands resulting from the conversion of a former sod farm to Palustrine Emergent, Palustrine Scrub-Shrub and Palustrine Forested wetlands. The wetlands will provide habitat for Red-Shouldered Hawks, a New Jersey endangered species and three state-listed threatened species: Barred Owls, Cooper’s Hawk and Wood Turtle. In addition, it will provide habitat for three species of Special Concern: Great Blue Heron, Wood Thrush and Yellow-Breasted Chat.
Vernal pool features on the site will be enhanced which will provide protection for Wood Frogs and habitat for other amphibian species such as the Spring Peeper, Northern Grey Tree Frogs, Green Frogs and Bull Frogs. The Furnace Brook will be restored from its made-made channelized state to a natural meander, providing better freshwater fish habitat thereby increasing the Fish Index of Biological Integrity. While no freshwater mussels are currently found on the site, habitat restoration of the Furnace Brook will allow these to return.
The Oxford Wetland Mitigation Bank represents a private enterprise dedicated to restoring wetlands and threatened and endangered species habitat. Credits can be purchased by calling Ecologic Resources Group at (732) 571-1777.