Wreck pond passes storm test
Thanks to Jim Nickels of Monmouth University there are now several water meters installed at Wreck Pond. These meters will be used to record water depth, temperature, and salinity. The data collected from these meters will be compared to data collected by the Society’s own water meter as well as data collected in the citizen science program to better assess some of the impacts of the new fish passage culvert on the pond.
One of the things these data will tell us is how water levels fluctuate in the pond during different tidal and weather conditions. This could not be timelier, given the recent nor’easter that struck New Jersey. This is the first storm to have hit Wreck Pond since the installation of the new culvert, and while the data are not yet analyzed, we do know that Wreck Pond did not flood, with residents saying the water level did not rise much above the normal high tide mark.
The storm did cause flooding elsewhere in New Jersey.
Reducing flooding in the communities around Wreck Pond is a primary goal of the recently completed restoration project. Because the fish passage can be opened and closed, it can be strategically managed during storm events. When open, the culvert allows for large amounts of water to exit the watershed during heavy rains. When closed, the culvert can prevent storm surge from entering the pond.
The culvert gate was closed at noon on Monday in response to the large storm surge. During the storm an American Littoral Society staff scientist stopped by to check on the pond. At that point, it was mildly raining, and the water level in the pond was higher than normal. There were very strong winds blowing on-shore, with 10-12 foot seas. Water could be seen surging at least half way up the beach toward Wreck Pond.
The water level in the pond continued to rise Monday and Monday night as the rain intensified, but water never overflowed the banks of the Pond. The culvert was opened Tuesday morning to allow storm water that had collected in the pond overnight to flow out into the Ocean.
To learn more about Wreck Pond and the restoration project, go to the Wreck Pond Page.
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