Today (Tuesday, November 1, 2016) the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge (otherwise known as NWR) will be going through a multi-faceted salt marsh resiliency project. The refuge will have government contractors working till April of 2017 on the south end of the Carmans River which runs through the refuge.
In order to improve the tidal exchange on the marsh’s surface, the government contractors will be utilizing specialized low ground pressure equipment in order to dig channels. The legacy mosquito ditches that were created over the years have proven to be ineffective, will be filled using a special mix of marsh sediment and coconut fiber.
To ensure the contractors do not damage any of the healthy marsh, Refuge biologists will be on hand monitoring the project. When completed it is estimated that the project will help restore the natural tidal flow of the Carmans River where current salt marshes have degraded it, help create valuable wildlife habitats, as well as helping to protect some communities near the refuge that have seen coastal flooding during storms.
The work is being paid for by Congressional funding that was approved in October of 2013 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to restore and enhance the marsh that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The funding is also being used for restoration plans at the Seatuck Refuge as well as the Lido Beach Wildlife Management Area.
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