Building a Stronger Coast
In the News: Re-Watering the Swamp

Lateral West Wildfire

September 5, 2016 - A front-page article in the Suffolk News Herald highlights a $3 million USFWS project to improve water management at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), where both floods and wildfires have been a problem.

The project to install, repair or replace 12 water control structures will help refuge managers better regulate water levels for fire, flood and wildlife habitat. As the article points out, the project carries local, regional and global benefits – nearby communities will experience less flooding, region-wide there will be less air pollution from wildfires, and at a global scale this project helps reduce carbon emissions.

“By re-wetting the swamp, we become a sink, rather than a source of carbon,” said refuge manager Chris Lowie.

Read the story in the Suffolk News Herald
Learn more about the project
Watch a video from Great Dismal Swamp

Lateral West Wildfire.
Credit: Mike Petruncio/North Carolina Forest Service


Volunteers build oyster reefs at Gandy Beach

Rep. LoBiodo far left

August 25, 2016 - In an effort to better protect the state of New Jersey, Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd Dist.) showed that he is not afraid to get his hands dirty by volunteering to help install two new oyster reef breakwater structures.

These “oyster castles,” on Gandy’s beach will provide natural defenses for the NJ coastline by diminishing the impacts of wave energy from storms by 40 percent as it reaches shore, thus limiting the damages of erosion. The structures will also provide water filtration and habitat for commercial and recreational fisheries.

In an online statement, Rep. LoBiondo said “these restoration projects are critically important for loss of habitat, for loss of Delaware-based shoreline, [and] for the ecosystem.”

These breakwater structures are part of a larger resiliency project at Gandy’s Beach. Volunteers and partners include The Nature Conservancy, Colts Neck High School ROTC, Rutgers University, and USFWS. The project is supported by federal funding from the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Act.

Learn more about the project



Rep. Frank LoBiondo (far left)
Credit: Patty Doerr (NJ Director of Coastal and Marine Programs from The Nature Conservancy)


Work Begins on New Living Shoreline in Maryland's Eastern Shore

A view of Hail Cove at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

August 23, 2016 - Shoreline erosion, storm damage and climate change are urgent threats at Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Surrounded by the waters of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay, the 2,285-acre island refuge lies at the center of a region where scientists say sea levels are rising at rates three to four times faster than the global average.

A new green infrastructure project underway here will help by buffering wave energy and reducing shoreline erosion, while allowing natural processes to take place. The 4,000-foot living shoreline will protect tidal marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) along a highly vulnerable stretch of shoreline -- and hopefully buy it another 50 years of time.

The work is one of 31 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service projects funded by Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery dollars to improve coastal resiliency to storms and other impacts of climate change.

Read the press release



A view of Hail Cove at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge.
Credit: USFWS


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Last updated: July 27, 2016