Council Backs Full Restoration

Council Backs Full Restoration

Also supports retention of marina concession and mooring field.

— The Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations approved a resolution supporting the National Park Service’s recommendation for full restoration of Dyke Marsh wetlands.

Reflecting on the council’s vote, Betsy Martin, chair of the Environment and Recreation Committee of the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations, said: “This resolution — passed by a vote of 22-2 — shows that there is broad community support for fully restoring Dyke Marsh, while at the same time preserving the mooring and anchoring areas of the Belle Haven Marina. … This restoration would benefit fishermen, hunters, kayakers, boaters, and birdwatchers and all the rest of us who appreciate the beauty of the marsh.” Martin also pointed out that if nothing is done soon to restore and protect the marsh, it will

Location of Dyke Marsh

Beginning immediately south of Alexandria city along the Mount Vernon Parkway on the western shore of the Potomac river running from Belle Haven Marina south four miles to Southdown road.

continue to disappear. The National Park Service and the Corps of Engineers collaborated to prepare this first ever Environmental Assessment of the federally protected Dyke Marsh. The public comment period is over for this phase. After analyzing the comments, the U.S. National Park Service will prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment and seek public comments on their recommendations for action.

Part of the council resolution reads as follows:

“Therefore, be it resolved, the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations (MVCCA) supports option D (Full Restoration), with a caveat to retain the marina concession and mooring field. This option would:

“1. Fully restore the southern promontory that historically protected the marsh from the eroding effect of hurricanes and nor’easters from the south;

“2. Construct a new tidal gut to discharge in an upstream direction, which would protect the last major tidal creek in the marsh from the effects of tidal surges and storms;

“3. Place fill in a deep channel caused by dredging, to divert flows back to the Potomac River main channel;

“4. Construct breaks in the Haul Road, to reestablish hydrologic connections between eastern and western sections of the marsh; and:

“5. Place fill along the main portion of Dyke Marsh out to the historic 1937 boundaries, restoring 130 acres of marsh and constructing tidal guts similar to historical flow paths.”

In 2009 the U.S. Congress commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passage of Public Law 86-41 mandating federal protection of Dyke Marsh as a U.S. Wildlife Preserve. The landmark environmental assessment comes at a time when the Park Service and Corps of Engineers analysis has shown that the marsh will disappear in approximately 40 years without mitigation to control stormwater runoff and erosion.

The entire MVCCA Resolution on Dyke Marsh restoration is printed in the Council’s June, 2012 Record at: current.pdf

For information on Friends of Dyke Marsh:

For information on the EA prepared by the U.S. National Park Service: