Hurricane Sandy Recovery
Recovery, restoration & building coastal resilience
Cleanup after the hurricane - Robin Donohue/USFWS
Resilience shield

Salt Marsh Restoration and Enhancement

Seatuck & Wertheim National Wildlife Refuges, Lido Beach Wildlife Management Area

Location: New York

Project type: Resilience

Funding: $11,093,000

Project Summary

Restore natural functions in damaged and degraded coastal salt marshes on Long Island through an integrated approach that addresses tidal hydrology, surface water habitat, invasive species, living shoreline stabilization and sea level rise. Restoration of natural hydrology will increase resilience and decrease long-term vulnerability and risk from storm events.

Conservation Goals

  • Restore and enhance 432 acres of estuarine-salt marsh habitat in currently degraded salt marsh
  • Ameliorate invasive species, waterlogging, extensive mudflat formation, shoreline erosion and high mosquito production
  • Increase salt marsh defenses to large storm events and reduce long-term vulnerability to sea level rise
  • Repair and enhance an interpretative boardwalk trail system over the marsh to allow students of the Long Beach school district and neighboring districts to experience the salt marsh ecology upon which Long Island depends

Project Benefits

  • Improves habitat for fish, crabs and shrimp
  • Reduces mosquito production
  • Provides enhanced storm surge buffer to predicted sea level rise and flooding for local communities
  • Provides tools for environmental education and marsh access to regional school districts

Project Partners

  • Town of Islip
  • Town of Brookhaven
  • Town of Hempstead
  • New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)
  • Suffolk County Vector Control (SCVC)
  • Nassau County Vector Control (NCVC)
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • US Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Stony Brook University

Additional Details

Hurricane Sandy severely damaged coastal marsh areas at Long Island refuges after neighboring barrier islands were breached by storm surge. This project will employ proven methods of marsh restoration that were tested at the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge from 2004-2013, restoring natural tidal channels which have been shown to significantly reduce the prevalence of invasive reed species. Improved marsh will strengthen shorelines and reduce mosquito production. The project will be executed in partnership with state, county and municipal authorities, and will provide a number of jobs that area veterans are expected to be qualified for. Access via the boardwalk will greatly enhance monitoring capability and educational opportunities.

Learn about other projects at the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

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Last updated: June 30, 2014