Conservation Award 1

Stone Harbor, NJ —  The Wetlands Institute received the 2013 Cape May County Chamber of Commerce Conservation Award. Dr. Lenore Tedesco accepted the award on behalf of the Institute at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Installation Dinner October 16, 2014.

Along with the award, the Institute received Special Recognition from Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi and from Congressman Frank LoBiondo.  This honor came as a result of a nomination made on behalf of the Institute for Sustainable Construction of a new Elevated Marsh Walkway.

Executive Director Dr. Lenore Tedesco reported that “the elevated marsh walkway is a great example of using environmentally friendly practices. It also serves to educate visitors about the environment. The walkway is constructed using state-of-the-art methods, is sustainably constructed and utilized local contractors and locally sourced material to the extent possible.  The walkway utilizes a steel helical pile construction.  Piles were cork-screwed into the marsh and extend on average 30 feet below the marsh surface until they reached a lower compact sand layer.  The main walkway structure was locally fabricated and is aluminum.  The grated surface is polycarbonate and is specially designed to allow sunlight and rainwater to reach the plants and animals below and reduce the overall impact to the marsh.  Since water can flow through this surface, the walkway has a better chance at surviving major flooding events and storms. Because the entire structure is metal with polycarbonate, there is no lift associated with flooding, making likelihood of damage during rising water levels in storms less.  The entire structure can be recycled – if ever necessary.  The project was designed and executed to impose minimal impact to the salt marsh.  All work on the marsh required the use of matting to distribute the weight of heavy equipment and prevent rutting.  Decking was installed in 40 ft’ prefabricated sections to increase the speed of installation and decrease time on the marsh. Nearly 90 – 2 7/8” helical steel pilings were installed for a small footprint and strong hold in the marsh. Surveys and boring tests of the marsh were conducted in advance to determine piling locations and elevations.”

The Board and Staff of The Wetlands Institute is grateful for this honor and wishes to thank the committee responsible for acknowledging our conservation efforts.