Restoring Forested Wetlands on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Thousands of tree seedlings are planted, restoring forested wetalands in Somerset county, MD.
Photo by Brian Jennings, USFWS
Chesapeake Bay Field Office, Partners for Fish and Wildlife program biologists, Brian Jennings and Conor Bell, are assisting a private land owner in Somerset County, Maryland to restore 1,800 acres of forested wetlands. Of those, 265 acres of former monotypic stands of loblolly pine are being replanted with hardwoods, 12 acres with Atlantic white cedar and 15 acres with bald cypress, a total of about 140,000 seedlings.
Other wetland tree species for the projects include pin oak, swamp white oak, swamp chestnut oak, water oak, and willow oak. Black oak, white oak, and southern red oak are being planted in the uplands. When completed, the project will provide habitat for many forest interior birds including hooded warblers, scarlet and summer tanagers, wood thrush, wild turkeys, wood cock in the early stages, and wood ducks.
The Chesapeake Bay Field Office is providing technical support, and in-kind services through project oversight and equipment. Partners include the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Agriculture Research Service, conducting research on effects of restoring wetlands, and The Audubon Society, performing long-term monitoring of bird populations.
The project lies within the Pocomoke River Cypress Swamp Focus Area, identified as a priority in the Chesapeake Bay Field Office’s Strategic Habitat Conservation Plan.
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Wood thrush (left) and Hooded warbler (right) are interior frest-dwelling birds that will benefit from the forest restoration. Photos: Steve Maslowski (l), and USFWS (r).