John Heinz Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum Gets $1.5M Restoration

The wilderness of the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge
Image via U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

For decades, 150 acres of the Henderson Marsh at the 1,200-acre John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge has been nothing but big piles of dirt, part of a dredging operation, writes Brooks Holton for Philly Voice.

“Think of it as a giant natural bathtub. It was just there to contain this dredge material,” said Chris Sebastian with Ducks Unlimited, a nonprofit dedicated to wetlands conservation.

Now, a $1.5 million restoration project will return the marshes at the wildlife refuge to the wildlife.

The area and 16 acres of forest will be revamped with new kayak launches, fishing piers, and interconnected trails.

“It’s gonna be huge for wildlife and also for people to enjoy it,” Sebastian said.

Funding comes from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and matching funds from Ducks Unlimited.

Construction begins in the summer of 2022, finished by next fall.

Other Delaware County projects funded by the grants include:

 •In Glenolden, streambank stabilization, construction of a riparian buffer, and redirecting flows from a  stormwater pipe to a wetland in Glenolden Community Park.

•In Chadds Ford, removal of the Hoffman’s Mill dam to improve the aquatic habitat and restore free-flowing waters across Brandywine Creek.

Read more at Philly Voice about the restoration work.


Take a tour of the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge.