Key projects in 2017 included:
- The stone protection of our newly (2016) reconstructed, ~3,000 linear feet earthen dike on our West Marsh which not only protects our new asset but also allows for more flexibility in water level management;
- Seeding of a ~60-acres with Japanese Millet, not only to attract waterfowl, but to reset the stage for a diverse and desirable plant communities on our East Marsh;
- Acceptance into the USDA's Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) program on ~200 acres of our East Marsh (with an anticipated closing in 2018 or 2019) -- a tremendous "win" from the perspective of long-term natural resource protection.
|The restoration gods shined upon us again with a week of consistent, dry conditions ideal for protecting our new dike
(having an experienced, highly skilled contractor didn't hurt anything either)
West Marsh Dike Rehabilitation . . . continued
|Day 2 of stone placement --
Through a cost-share with the private lands program, we were able to acquire, transport, and place a one-foot deep layer of local limestone eight feed wide along 3,500 linear feet of the new dike side slope. Sparing the math less, that's a lot of truckloads of stone.
The ultimate goal was to protect the areas most prone to wind and wave action such that management decisions could be made by desirable and targeted water levels rather than what would do the least damage to an earthen dike.
In the end, we protected all of the southern-facing side slope and ~500 linear feet of north slope. This accounts for all of the reaches most vulnerable, as determined by orientation to adjacent open water and prevailing wind directions.
|Day 2 of stone placement -- August 2017
|Fortification in place, dike regraded and reseeded -- September 2017
|Project complete and dike re-greening -- early October 2017