The Russell property is located within the Bidwell Creek watershed, a tidal creek flowing from the Delaware Bay. Cape May County has identified the Bidwell Creek drainage basin as one of the most important aquifer recharge sites in the County. Because of its importance to birds, the Cape May peninsula is recognized as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Site of Hemispheric Importance, a Wetland of International Importance under The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance–otherwise known as the Ramsar Convention, and a globally significant Important Bird Area (National Audubon and American Bird Conservancy).
The Russell property lies within the approved acquisition boundary of the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge. Its vegetation is characterized by forested uplands and forested wetlands along Bidwell Creek. The wetlands are also the locus of a significant population of swamp pink (Helonias bullata), a federally threatened plant. Species of concern using these habitats include the Bald eagle, Northern harrier, Osprey, Barred owl, Wood thrush, Scarlet tanager, Worm-eating warbler, Acadian flycatcher, and Diamondback terrapin.
Ecosystem Services Provided:
Biological Diversity: Habitat- federal threatened species habitat protection; Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Site of Hemispheric Importance; Wetland of International Importance under The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention); and a globally significant Important Bird Area (National Audubon and American Bird Conservancy).
Water Protection, Filtration & Control: Water quality and quantity- protection of groundwater recharge areas, protection of headwaters
Total Project Cost: $1,012,000
Status: The Russell property closed in March of 2010. This project was acquired through a partnership of The Conservation Fund, The Fish and Wildlife Service, The Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and a seller donation, the County of Cape May, the State of New Jersey Green Acres Program and the New Jersey Wetlands Mitigation Council.
If you would like further information about this project, please contact Conservation Resources Inc.