Building a Stronger Coast
Salt Marsh Restoration Work Begins at John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge

The marsh restoration using thin-layer deposition (TLD) at Chafee NWR will be similar to work done at Sachuest Point NWR (pictured). Credit: Anne Post/USFWS

October 24, 2016 – A project to enhance wildlife habitat and restore 30 acres of marsh to withstand the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal storm surge is underway at Chafee NWR in Rhode Island.
First, crews will dredge along the Narrow River estuary and place the dredged material onto the existing saltmarsh. The material will be spread across targeted areas, adding up to six inches of elevation to the marsh. This innovative technique of elevating the marsh – known as thin-layer deposition – was used last winter to raise 11 acres of saltmarsh at the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge in Middletown, RI.
The project is supported by federal funding for Hurricane Sandy recovery and is being conducted in partnership with The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. 

Read the press release
Learn more about the project

The marsh restoration using thin-layer deposition (TLD) at Chafee NWR will be similar to work done at Sachuest Point NWR (pictured). Credit: Anne Post/USFWS
Credit: Anne Post/USFWS

In the News: A Marsh Reborn

Prime Hook beach and grass. Credit: Citizen Racecar

October 17, 2016 – Our Prime Hook refuge restoration project is taking root, writes Ron MacArthur in the Cape Gazette.
The $38 million dollar project has recently been completed – breaches filled, dunes restored, 500,000 plugs of beach grass planted, 1,000 acres of marsh seeded, and 25 miles of channels dredged to restore tidal hydrology at the refuge. 
The next step is to wait and see how nature comes back over the next few years. Already there are encouraging signs – marsh grasses are returning, fish are finding new habitat in the channels, and saltwater is no longer flooding nearby farm fields. And this summer staff observed record numbers of wildlife including horseshoe crabs and shorebirds. 
The work at Prime Hook is considered one of the largest coastal marsh restoration projects on the East Coast, funded by federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. 

View the first installment of this photo series

Prime Hook beach and grass.
Credit: Citizen Racecar

In the News: How Hurricane Sandy Benefited New Jersey Wetlands

Piping plover. Credit: Don Freiday/USFWS

October 21, 2016 – As the Press of Atlantic City writes in a recent article, “Sometimes there is an upside to disaster, even one as big as Hurricane Sandy.” The upside at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge has been the birds – especially piping plovers. 
Refuge manager Paul Castelli said Sandy washed over the dunes, creating more habitat for beach-nesting birds like endangered piping plover. This was some of the good news Castelli and others discussed at a recent meeting about coastal restoration efforts underway to protect New Jersey beaches and communities from future storms. 
Also highlighted in the article are USFWS Hurricane-Sandy funded projects to create a 3,000-foot living shoreline at Gandy’s Beach and restore coastal marshes and wetlands at Forsythe.

Read the article

Piping plover
Credit: Don Freiday/USFWS

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Last updated: November 4, 2016