Published March 22, 2013
Conservation , National Aquarium , News
Tags: ACT!, Aquarium Conservation Team, aquarium in baltimore, chesapeake bay, chesapeake bay trust, chester river, Conservation, Eastern Neck, eastern neck national wildlife refuge, Eastern Shore, FWS, maryland, national aquarium, national aquarium in baltimore, national wildlife federation, NWF, tree planting, us fish and wildlife foundation
Last weekend, our Aquarium Conservation Team (ACT!) hosted a tree planting event at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Eastern Neck is a 2,285-acre stopover area for migratory and wintering waterfowl at the mouth of the Chester River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
Funded through the US Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Trust, and National Wildlife Federation, community volunteers, students and partners planted 15,000 native hardwood trees creating a 300 foot forest buffer along the river. Since 2000, we have restored more than 12 acres of wetland habitat, demonstrating the beneficial use of dredge material. The wetlands provide refuge to a variety of wildlife including terrapins, birds, snakes and small mammals.
In total, 80 students from Rock Hall Elementary, Kent County High School and Aquarium On Wheels (an after school program for Baltimore City Youth) participated alongside 18 Maryland Conservation Corps, 19 Aquarium Conservation Team and 36 community volunteers. Our planting project at Eastern Neck is part of a larger initiative to educate local school children on the importance of marsh habitat around the Chesapeake Bay using these restored wetlands as a living classroom.
US Fish and Wildlife Staff will continue to monitor trees over the next several years to assure success of the newly-planted seedlings!
Want to get out in the field and give back to our local wildlife? Join us at our of our upcoming conservation events!
Thanks to the support of our hard-working volunteers, 2009 has been incredibly productive for the National Aquarium’s Conservation Team. Throughout the year, 4 large-scale planting events translated into 10 critical acres restored – that’s 144,000 plants that will provide valuable habitat and help to slow shoreline erosion!
Our restoration projects took us to many beautiful areas throughout the Chesapeake Bay. The planting season kicked off just outside of Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In May, fifty-two volunteers and 90 students joined us on Barren Island to plant 3 acres of restored offshore habitat, created from repurposed dredge material. The marsh grasses we provided are a huge part of the recipe that turns dredge material into viable wetland habitat, making it possible to rebuild islands that have dramatically eroded over the last century.
Poplar Island is a similar restoration project off of Tilghman Island MD, in the central region of the Bay. Dredge material is again being used to rebuild the severely eroded Island to its original 1000 acres. The Aquarium Conservation Team, along with 268 volunteers and students, planted 3 acres of wetland grasses on the island in June. As more dredge material is brought in and settles into plant-able areas, the National Aquarium will continue to return to the island to be a part of the restoration process. The next Poplar Island planting project is expected to take place in the summer of 2011.
Click here to learn more about Poplar Island and the beneficial use of dredge material.
Continue reading ‘Restoring valuable habitats’