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Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area has completed the Watergate Wetlands Restoration Project

DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area has completed construction for the Watergate Wetlands Restoration Project.

The restoration of 20 acres of wetlands and 800 feet of Van Campens Brook in Hardwick Township, Warren County was accomplished by removing dams and ponds and returning the area to its natural topography.

Fifty-eight acres of invasive plants within and surrounding the project area were treated and native seeds, shrubs, and trees planted in their place. Just over 4000 feet of a gravel road alongside Van Campens Brook was removed, allowing the stream’s floodplain to once again function naturally.

“After years of design and permitting, and two years of construction, we are thrilled that the project is complete and the wetlands are functioning well.” said Kristy Boscheinen, project manager at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  The restoration re-established the natural flow of both surface water and groundwater, allowing wetlands to flourish and stream quality to improve.  Reconnecting Van Campens Brook to its floodplain will reduce damage from storm events and protect the recently refurbished Van Campens Glen trail, Old Mine Road, and other downstream resources from flooding.

The ecology of the entire project area has been improved including more diverse bird habitat, re-established native plants and shrubs, and enhanced native trout habitat in Van Campens Brook which is expected to have cooler water temperatures than it did when the large human-made ponds caused the stream to warm.

For her work on the Watergate Wetlands Restoration Project, Kristy Boscheinen was named as the recipient of the NPS Director’s Natural Resource Stewardship Through Management Award for 2021.  The prestigious award recognizes an NPS employee for their significant contribution to natural resource management in parks. Those who receive this award have made significant achievements that support the protection, restoration, and/or understanding of natural resources in units of the NPS.

“Working on this complex project, from concept to completion, and seeing the restored wetlands succeed as a result of the combined efforts of a great team of contractors and park staff has been one of the highlights of my career,” said Boscheinen after returning from the Washington, D.C. award ceremony.  “Being recognized by the NPS Director for work that has been both challenging and fascinating and which will have a long-term positive effect on natural resources in the park is truly an honor, and an honor that I share with everyone who has had a hand in this project.”

To allow the site to stabilize and for native plants and shrubs to take hold now that construction is completed, the area will remain closed to all visitors, including hunters and anglers, for the next six to twelve months.

The following areas are included in the closure: 

  • The Watergate Recreation Site, including the driveway, parking lot, bathrooms, and former picnic area and ponds,  
  • 25′ on either side of Van Campens Brook, and Van Campens Brook itself, from the south end of Millbrook Village (Garis House) to the transmission line right-of-way. 
The park will continue to monitor the construction site for the next several years to ensure the wetlands continue to function properly and make changes if necessary.  Monitoring will include groundwater levels and surface water levels, stream temperatures in Van Campens Brook, success of native vegetation, and removal of invasive plants and animals as necessary. 

The Watergate Wetlands Restoration Project was a required compensation for the adverse environmental effects due to construction of the nearby Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line in 2013 and 2014. Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) and PPL Electric Utilities (PPL) have fully funded this restoration project. 

 More information about the project, including interactive before-and-after pictures, is available on the park website at and on the NPS planning website at

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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