Perched along the marshes of the western Delaware Bay, Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 10,000 acres of valuable habitat. Originally established as migratory bird sanctuary in 1963, the refuge was impounded and managed as a freshwater system in the 1980s. During severe storms, most notably Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the dunes along the beach were breached, causing salt water inundation, beach erosion and flooding.

To re-establish native plants and wildlife to the area, the US Fish and Wildlife Service modeled potential restoration scenarios to restore a sustainable, resilient coastal ecosystem.

Wood secured a $17M design-build contract to restore 1,500 acres of damaged tidal salt marsh. We performed shallow-draft hydraulic dredging to create tidal channels and used historical tidal channel patterns to modify the existing water control structures and allow for free flow of water.

Combining creative thinking with technical expertise, Wood developed advanced processes to safely install more than 1,000,000 native marsh grasses and remove invasive plants. Our work on the project strengthened community resilience to future storms and increased the refuge's ecological resources as part of the Hurricane Sandy Resiliency projects.