STONE HARBOR – The Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary will be closed to the public on or about Sept. 20 for five days while wetland restoration experts contracted by the borough begin work managing invasive vegetation in the wetlands and transition areas of the sanctuary.
According to a municipal release, vegetation management will involve the application of the herbicide habitat. This application will enable the restoration of native vegetation and wildlife habitats that have been crowded out by non-native, invasive plants, namely common reed (Phragmites australis) and purple loosestrife (Llythrum salicaria). It is anticipated that there may be some hand cutting and removal following treatment.
Habitat herbicide contains the active ingredient imazapyr and is considered to be a low-volume herbicide (effective at very low rates), which results in a lesser chemical load on the environment. Additionally, it is free of heavy metals, organochlorides and phosphates.
With the exception of green plants, Habitat herbicide is considered to be practically non-toxic, as determined by results from EPA-required testing. Results from this testing indicate that it is not a mutagen, carcinogen, terratogen or endocrine disruptor. Furthermore, when used as labeled, it should not have a direct adverse effect on mammals, birds, fish, crustaceans, mollusks or insects.
The herbicide will be applied utilizing a specialized marsh vehicle (Marshmaster), hose or backpack sprayer, depending on the area being treated. Herbaceous and woody species native to New Jersey may be planted within the sanctuary following a multi-year treatment plan.
This project requires the closure of the bird sanctuary during the herbicide application. Signage will be posted at each of the four trail heads into the sanctuary during the closure period.
The Borough of Stone Harbor has contracted Princeton Hydro LLC for the management of the wetland restoration project.
For additional information, contact Tyler, aquatic operations manager, Princeton Hydro LLC, at 908-237-5660.