The American Littoral Society is conducting a three-and-a-half year study to reduce water pollution in the Barnegat Bay Watershed by planting native vegetation in empty storm water basins.

stormwater Basin/courtesy of the USEPA

The group has about one-year left in the project and recently received approval from the Toms River Council to do work on the Township-owned Long Swamp Creek property in a residential neighborhood near the Ocean County Mall.

"It's actually beautifying what is an empty storm water basin right now that has concrete lined in the bottom of it and it will be planted with beautiful native vegetation and will actually improve the view that they have from their homes," said Helen Henderson, Atlantic Coast Program Manager with the American Littoral Society.

Henderson said the Society hopes people will learn that this can be done throughout the watershed and correct some of those decade-old mistakes.

Similar plantings already have been done in the Laurel Commons Community behind Toms River High School North, and Henderson said a project is planned at Community Medical Center in Toms River in May.

Henderson said the Society is partnering with Lowe's Corporation Home Improvement. "They will be supplying the native plants and that along with the volunteers from Barnabas Healthcare System, American Littoral Society and the rest of our partners on the project."