Building a Stronger Coast
In the news: Reefs beef up bay beaches

two red birds and horseshoe crabs on a sandy beach

Aug. 13. 2019 - Volunteers helped fortify beaches along Delaware Bay last weekend as part of a "shell-a-bration" event at Cook's Beach. 75 volunteers helped to build three reefs, made of bags of oyster shells, in one of the largest efforts of its kind to date.

These "living shoreline" oyster reefs are being built at 5 beaches that were restored with federal funding following Hurricane Sandy. The project is led by the American Littoral Society, who said the reefs have been successful so far in stopping erosion and improving habitat for migratory shorebirds such as red knot.

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Caption/credit: Red knot in Delaware Bay.
Credit: Gregory Breese/USFWS


Patapsco River safer, healthier without Bloede Dam

a river winding through a landscape

August 2, 2019 - Bloede Dam is history, and the future is brighter for the Patapsco River in Maryland. The nearly $18-million project to remove the obsolete and dangerous dam was completed by public and private partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It eliminated a significant safety hazard, restored wildlife habitat, and improved recreational opportunities.

The project restored more than 65 miles of spawning habitat for blueback herring, alewife, American shad, and hickory shad and more than 183 miles for American eel. It was partially funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, which gave the Fish and Wildlife Service more than $100 million to make human and wildlife communities stronger after Hurricane Sandy.

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The Patapsco River runs free at the former Bloede Dam site in Maryland.
Credit: American Rivers, Serena McClain


How Do You Save A Salt Marsh?

July 17, 2019 - A recently released video outlines a joint effort between The Nature Conservancy, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to enhance the resiliency of Rhode Island salt marshes. In 2016 the partners launched an ambitious project, supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery, using an innovative technique called "thin-layer deposition," which raises the elevation of the marsh. This involves applying a layer of dredged sand or silt over the top of a marsh and then replanting native flora such as smooth cordgrass and salt meadow hay. The restored marsh is designed to better withstand intense storms and sea-level rise, providing benefits to wildlife and local communities.

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Restored salt marsh at Chafee National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.
Credit: Ayla Fox


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Last updated: March 6, 2019