Prime Hook conservation plan under way

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is implementing a comprehensive conservation plan for the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.

A notice posted Monday says a record of decision was signed last month, meaning the agency's plan, some six years in the making, will now take effect.

Officials evaluated three alternatives for managing the refuge over the next 15 years, analyzing environmental, social and economic considerations for each. They settled on an active management plan to mimic natural processes, including restoring certain areas to salt marsh, reforesting fields previously used for farming, and eliminating pesticide use to kill adult mosquitoes unless there's a public health emergency.

The 10,000-acre refuge along the Delaware Bay was established in 1963 to preserve coastal wetlands as wintering and breeding habitat for migratory waterfowl.

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