Open Door Media
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WETLANDS CREDITS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE NEWLY APPROVED
OXFORD MITIGATION BANK IN OXFORD, NJ
Site will be stewarded by the New Jersey Audubon Society
January 24, 2012 – (Oxford, NJ) – Ecologic Resources Group (ERG), an environmental project firm based in West Long Branch, NJ, announced today that it has received approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) for the first phase of a 166-acre wetland mitigation bank in Oxford Township.
As a result of the approval of Phase 1 of the mitigation bank, ERG will begin selling wetlands preservation credits for the 74.5 acre western portion of the property to developers, utility companies and other impacted companies with projects in Watershed Management Areas #1 and #2 in Warren and Sussex Counties. Companies who are required to mitigate for wetland impacts may purchase bank credits from the Oxford Mitigation Bank with prior approval from the NJDEP. ERG will develop Phase 2 of the property, an additional 91.5 acres on the eastern portion of the site, at a later date.
The design of the Oxford Mitigation Bank will enhance privately owned wetlands on a site that previously served as farmland and as a buffer for an industrial site. In addition to redeveloping the former site, benefitting the environment and helping companies to mitigate the adverse impacts to wetlands and wetland buffers caused by development activities, the project will also help companies to satisfy current Natural Resource Damage claims.
“Based on the amount of large infrastructure and other development projects being proposed for the northwest region of New Jersey, we expect the demand for mitigation credits to be extremely high,” said Jim Kasten, Executive Director of ERG. “To make sure the distribution of credits meets demand, ERG is putting in place a process by which potential buyers can assess their present and future need for credits and participate in a procurement process that ensures that their project can demonstrate compliance with statutory wetland mitigation requirements and proceed as scheduled.”
The New Jersey Audubon Society is serving as a sponsor on the project. After ERG completes restoration of the site and concludes a five-year monitoring period, the New Jersey Audubon Society will steward the land. ERG will provide the New Jersey Audubon Society with funding for stewardship of the property.
“The approval of the Oxford Mitigation Bank will have a positive impact for New Jersey as ERG has taken a former industrial site, remediated it, and will now be transforming it into exceptional wetlands that will provide a wide range of wetland functional values, especially critical habitat for both plants and wildlife,” said John Parke, Stewardship Project Director of the New Jersey Audubon Society. “Not only will the bank serve as home to many native species, including several threatened and endangered mammals and herptiles, but will also provide important habitat for a diversity of birds for breeding, wintering and migrating in the State.”
“We’re excited that this important project was approved by the NJDEP as the availability of wetlands credits to developers and other companies will help us to restore a vital wetland to the Pequest River Watershed,” said Jennifer DiLorenzo, Director of Environmental Management for ERG. “Our experts will apply sound ecological practices and environmental sustainability principles to this project to enhance existing environmental conditions at the site, so natural ecosystems can thrive.”
Facts about the Oxford Mitigation Bank
The Oxford Mitigation Bank is located in the Furnace Brook drainage area in the Pequest River Watershed (Watershed Management Area #1 – Upper Delaware). Watershed Management Area #1 is located in Warren County and the western portion of Sussex County and includes northern New Jersey Delaware River tributaries such as: the Musconetcong River, Pohatcong Creek, Pequest River, Palinskill River and the Flatbrook River.
Watershed Management #2, known as the Wallkill River Watershed, covers the eastern portion of Sussex County and includes headwaters that begin at Lake Mohawk in Sparta Township. These headwaters flow north into New York and empty into the Hudson River. Within this watershed, there are also four sub watersheds, including: Pochuck Creek, the Wallkill River, Rutgers Creek Tributaries and the Papakating Creek.
The Oxford Mitigation Bank has been designed and engineered to enhance the following wetland functions and values:
• Flood Storage
• Groundwater Recharge and Discharge
• Shoreline Anchoring and Erosion Control
• Water Quality Control
• Riparian Corridor Integrity
• Habitat for Native Flora and Fauna
• Passive Recreation Activities
About Ecologic Resources Group
Ecologic Resources Group (ERG), an environmental project firm based in West Long Branch, NJ, provides mitigation banking, green projects, green technology and environmental services. ERG, founded in 2008, is creating a number of mitigation banking and sustainable projects on the East Coast. ERG’s team of professionals has a broad range of background, education and experience that brings a distinctive approach to and a comprehensive understanding of the technical, political and economic framework. The ERG staff includes environmental scientists with advanced degrees in aquatic and marine biology, wetlands science and geographic information systems, as well as professions as diverse as construction and project management, land use, architecture, government, finance and law. For more information about ERG, please call: (732) 571-1777 or visit their website at: www.erg-america.com