Salt Marsh Restoration to Mitigate Impingement and Entrainment of a Nuclear Facility on the Delaware River

LOCATION: Salem, New Jersey

Salt Marsh Restoration to Mitigate Impingement and Entrainment of a Nuclear Facility on the Delaware River

Public Service Electric and Gas of New Jersey


  • Developed and implemented wetland restoration and large scale monitoring plans along a tidally influenced river
  • Designed and conducted biological surveys of finfish, invertebrates, terrestrial birds and mammals
  • Careful planning involving a large number of stakeholders
  • Restoration evaluation indicates that the marshes have re-established to varying levels of salt marsh development

The final wetland restoration design included dike construction and maintenance, channel construction, breaching of dikes, accelerated sedimentation in areas with elevations too low to permit establishment of historical vegetation, construction of habitat islands using dredged material, and Phragmites australis control.


To offset the loss of fish and invertebrate resulting from impingement and entrainment at its generating facility at Salem, NJ, PSE&G proposed to restore 10,000 acres of diked wetlands to their historical condition. These restored marshes would enhance the primary and secondary productivity in the Delaware Estuary and thus mitigate the loss from the power plant.

Avatar scientists collected historical information and marsh-specific field data necessary to the design of the restoration of 10,000 acres of tidally influenced marsh. These data established the basis for the placement and design of the stream channels required to re-establish flow to the restored marsh. Data collected as part of these tasks were archived in the EEP database system and submitted in data deliverables as specified by PSE&G.

Stream channel design and excavation were accomplished at this site by a combination of a review of historical maps and data, collection of site specific data, followed by channel design, placement, and excavation. After impoundment barriers were breached and the area was inundated, the stream channels and surrounding marsh were monitored to ensure successful recovery was occurring.