Wetland Restoration Site
The Alloway Creek Watershed
Wetland Restoration Site
The Alloway Creek Watershed Site encompasses approximately 3,096 acres of wetland and upland edge in Elsinboro and Lower Alloway Creek Township, Salem County. This site follows the north side of the Alloway Creek from Hancocks Bridge to the Creek's mouth at the Delaware River and along the River edge, north, past "Elsinboro Point" to the Fort Elfsborg-Salem Road. At this site, PSEG is undertaking the challenging task of controlling Phragmites
(locally called "foxtail") an invasive plant that infested the site, choking out more beneficial marsh plants.
In addition to the ecological significance of the area, these lands are rich in historical importance. Native Americans called the area Wootsessungsing. In 1643, Johann Printz. Governor of "New Sweden" established a fort, Helsingborg or Fort Elisborg, at a location, now believed to be offshore, in the northern vicinity of the site. The arrival of John Fenwick in 1675 brought English domination to the region.
Houses built by early settlers can still be found in the area, including the Abel and Mary Nicholson House - a 1722 patterned-end brick house that under PSEG's stewardship was named a National Historic Landmark in March 1999. The Hancock House, located near the southern region of the restorative site in Hancocks Bridge, is famous for its role in the Revolutionary War.
Early in the recorded history of the region, portions of the site were diked and farmed. Marsh landowners and farmers formed meadow bank companies to provide oversight and assistance with dike maintenance. In the twentieth century, hunting and trapping were dominant uses and supported the formation of formal hunting clubs, such as the one that existed on Rich or "Eagle" Island.
Restoration of the Alloway Creek Watershed Site benefits the Delaware Estuary.
PSEG's Alloway Creek Watershed Site is part of the company's Estuary Enhancement Program (EEP), a program restoring, enhancing and/or preserving over 20,000 acres of wetland and adjacent uplands in the Delaware Estuary. PSEG implemented the EEP to provide expanded spawning/nursery habitat and food sources needed by fish and other aquatic life. This in turn, will promote increased production and biodiversity of the estuary's aquatic resources.
PSEG's restoration project is allowing native grasses to naturally reestablish themselves on the site, and tidal flow is allowing fish, shellfish and other aquatic life, to use the site. In addition, many other species of animals, including shorebirds and other migratory waterfowl, use the site.
In an effort to make the site accessible to visitors, PSEG has constructed several parking areas, boardwalks, observation platforms, a bird viewing blind, and a nature trail to enhance the visitor's use and enjoyment of the site. The Alloway Creek Watershed Site is covered by a deed of conservation restriction that protects the area, thus allowing it to be a haven for many types of wildlife. Preserving this site for the future helps ensure the area's role as an integral part of the Delaware River Estuary.
For more information on the public access program call 1-888-MARSHES.
What is the
Estuary Enhancement Program?
The Estuary Enhancement Program (EEP) is a Program undertaken by Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) to enhance the coastal wetlands and other aquatic areas by expanding habitats in the Delaware Estuary.