has received a number of questions as a result of the “It’s a wetland...” email we sent.

Here are the questions, with our answers, as best as we can answer them:
(If you missed the original email, it is copied and pasted below.)

Does this mean there is no further action needed at this time? If there is further action needed, what does that action need to be?

Not sure. The Army Corps of Engineers recognition of the actual wetland boundaries is the big one that we've been working towards for the past year and a half. If the developer continues his disregard for the Marsh, then we must be vigilant and watch his every move. Up to this point, since he hasn't shown any concern for the unique gem that is Green Pond Marsh, we believe his future plans could still adversely impact the Marsh.
One thing that should be done is to make the local legislators very aware of what is happening and let them know that their constituents don’t want to see Green Pond Marsh ruined. Green Pond Marsh should be showcased as the gem of Bethlehem Township.

So does that mean that the Marsh is safe?

Not necessarily, but it certainly is a positive step toward the preservation of the Marsh.

Does that mean the developer will stay out of the Marsh? And what about the holes they already dug in the Marsh?

Legally, they should stay out of the Marsh. Hopefully the holes they dug didn't penetrate the impermeable layer of the Marsh which would allow the Marsh to rapidly drain after it is replenished from Green Pond overflow water. But we won't know that until Green Pond flows over the road and fills the Marsh again.

Do you know if PennDOT is planning on installing a culvert that will allow Green Pond to overflow into the marsh without flowing over the road?

As you know, the marsh has not been receiving as much water ever since PennDOT raised the road 3 years ago. This is an important point to raise with local legislators.

Does that mean that the Army Corps of Engineers will now be the watchdog for the Marsh?

Although they were the agency that determined the location of the wetlands in the Marsh area, the Army Corps of Engineers has no jurisdiction over the Marsh area. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) has jurisdiction over the Marsh area. So we hope they will do their job by protecting the wetlands there.

Is it possible to see a copy of the wetlands report that was done on the Green Pond Marsh area?

Yes. The 66 page wetland report, that was done by ‘Schmid & Company’ is posted on the home page of the website in PDF format (see the report here).

Here’s the original email (from Nov 16, 2014):


SUBJECT: "It’s a wetland...”

------ has said that the Green Pond Marsh is a wetland that supports over 160 species of birds and should be left alone.

Initially, the developer identified less than one acre of wetland consisting of two small parcels on the property. A recent sketch plan for proposed development submitted to Bethlehem Township would have encroached significantly into the wetlands (approximately 8 acres) identified by, thereby essentially destroying the Marsh for a majority of the 160 species of birds that use the area.

Last week, on Wednesday November 12, 2014, the Army Corps of Engineers came to the Marsh site, along with the PA Department of Environmental Protection, and did a 'wetlands survey'. They found that almost all the area (approximately 8 acres) that had said was wetland is in fact...a wetland!

They placed pink flags and pink ribbon markers at the site to delineate the wetland which you can see if you drive by the site.

It is important that future development plans for the property be examined closely to make sure that the plans have no potential impacts on the wetlands. This includes any applications for any necessary State approvals when a new development plan is submitted to Bethlehem Township.

Thank you.

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