The aerial bombardment will be first, with herbicides sprayed by helicopter. Next, long-necked excavators will tear apart whatever is left. Channels will be dug. Berms will be heaped high. That's the battle plan to eradicate what some call the kudzu of the Meadowlands — invasive, life-choking reeds — from 250 acres of wetlands.
Once the reeds, known as phragmites or common reeds, are removed, wetlands specialists will plant more than a million plugs of spartina grass, along with bulrush, spike rush, swamp aster and water hemp. They hope it will attract more migrating birds and provide better habitat for spawning fish.
The ambitious project along the Hackensack River in Carlstadt aims to rebuild these wetlands. The goal is to turn an ecologically moribund corner of the Meadowlands into a vibrant habitat offering a place for hiking, birding and kayaking.
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