In preparation for restoring up to 100 acres of Dyke Marsh, the The National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began a short drilling project in the last week of October.
The purpose of the drilling is to sample the marsh’s sediment foundation as the restoration — which would include adding clean sandy material and planting native wetland vegetation — is being planned.
A 485-acre ecosystem, the freshwater tidal marsh is home to 300 species of plants and 270 species of birds. But without restoration it could disappear by 2035, according to a release from the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which manages the marsh.
“Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is one of the largest remaining freshwater, tidal wetlands in the Washington metro area,” Alex Romero, superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, said in a statement.
“Dyke Marsh has extensive value, not only for the flora and fauna that exist within, but
for the recreational, educational and cultural values that the marsh provides. We are very excited to move forward with the first phase of the project to restore this very sensitive resource.”
Congress has allocated $24.9 million for the restoration project, which is scheduled to begin in 2017 and take four years to complete.