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Revegetation and Restoration of an Oil Contaminated Wetland in Northern New Jersey
Internet-based seminar
Hosted by U.S. EPA, office of land and emergency management
Land Revitalization Office

Removing spilled oil from the environment is difficult, time consuming, and expensive especially if a critical habitat or ecologically sensitive area has been affected. Past removal practices have had extreme deleterious effects on the ecosystem both immediate and long-term to such extent as to question whether removing oil from these sensitive systems are environmentally wise in the first place. This presentation will attempt to show that a carefully supervised cleanup followed by a scientifically driven monitoring program can be effective in removing oil from a sensitive wetland habitat using the Green Pond Oil Spill Removal project as the prime example.

This project involved a small flood plain wetland located on the south bank of the Pequannock River in Morris County, New Jersey which was contaminated by oil seeping out of the ground. The source of the oil was from a pipeline that transported oil from the oil fields in western New York State to Bayonne at the turn of the century. The pipeline was abandoned in the 1920's and removed, leaving behind subsurface deposits of spilled oil that contaminated the adjacent wetland during periods of elevated groundwater. Six to eight inches of the native soil horizon was removed as part of the oil spill cleanup effort thereby denuding the wetland.

The Revegetation/Restoration commenced with the placement of hemp mat to minimize erosion as all of the stream side vegetation was removed during the cleanup operation followed by the emplacement of coir logs along the stream edge. In the spring of 1999, plantings of potted native shrubs and forbes were installed by a private landscape firm experienced in wetland restoration. A deer fence was placed around the entire site to protect the new plantings

A monitoring program for determining the success of the revegetation/restoration effort with Spring and end-of-the-growing season surveys conducted along established transects and throughout the overall site. Species composition and productivity measurements were an integral part of the parameters to measure the progress of the effort to determine comparability between the remediated site and undisturbed wetlands. An Invasive Species Management plan was an integral activity of the Revegetation/ Restoration Project for the Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), an invasive plant from Northern Europe. Herbivorous beetles (Galerucella calmariensis and Galerucella pusilla) were obtained from the State of New Jersey Bio-Control Laboratory and released at the site. The success of this control strategy was monitored using a protocol developed by Dr. Brend Blossey at Cornell University.

The presentation will incorporate all that has been learned from the removal activity in terms of How Clean is Clean as applied to an oil contaminated fresh water wetland. This information should be useful for decision makers, responders, and consultants alike when faced with remediating disturbed or contaminated habitats.

Background: In December 2001, EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) launched the Revitalization Initiative. As with the EPA's Brownfields' pilot projects, OSWER recognized that reuse and redevelopment considerations should be incorporated in all of OSWER's cleanup programs. The Land Revitalization Office was formed to ensure coordination occurs across all OSWER offices to achieve the Agency's land use goals. The group serves as an advocate for reuse and revitalization of formerly contaminated land. They provide coordination on programmatic, policy, and regional implementation issues across all OSWER waste programs. The Land Revitalization Office develops methods to advocate, improve, and streamline OSWER reuse programs, tests new ways of conducting business, and assesses program trends to better determine further directions to enhance waste programs cleanup and reuse. This training is sponsored by EPA's Land Revitalization Office. For general information contact Scott Fredericks by telephone at 703-603-8771 or via e-mail at

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Archives of past CLU-IN internet seminars are available in the CLU-IN Studio at You will be able to view the slide and hear an audio stream of the presentation as it occurred.Image denoting link exits Trainex system

Previous Events (click to view/hide)
Bullet  Live Online Class, Internet Based
  December 14, 2006 - December 14, 2006
Bullet  Live Online Class, Internet Based
  January 19, 2006 - January 19, 2006
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