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Friends of Dyke Marsh

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Spring at Dyke Marsh

 Friends of Dyke Marsh is a volunteer group dedicated to preserving, restoring and enhancing Dyke Marsh, a freshwater tidal marsh in Fairfax County on the Potomac River just south of Alexandria, Virginia. The Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is administered by the National Park Service.
Read here for more about FODM.

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Membership Meetings

2015 Schedule
February 22, Sunday 2:00 p.m.
Remaining meetings held on
Wednesdays 7:30 p.m. - May 13
September 16, November 18

Norma Hoffman Visitor Center
Huntley Meadows Park
3701 Lockheed Boulevard
Alexandria, VA 22306.

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FODM is on Facebook. If you are already a Facebook.com member, just log in to your Facebook page and search for "Friends of Dyke Marsh" or type this link: https://www.facebook.com/DykeMarsh then "like" us.

Site updated by:
  T.D. Hobart

Rare Greater White-Fronted Goose Near Dyke Marsh

    Greater white-fronted goose

Greater white-fronted goose with Canada goose.
Photo by William Young.

     Bird watchers this winter have been treated to another uncommon bird in our area, a greater white-fronted goose, spotted on the river and in the Belle Haven picnic area. The bird has a gray-brown body and white forehead and bill base. These birds are typically found in the central part of North America and this goose rarely visits the Washington area. Despite the "greater" in the name, at 28 inches long, it is much smaller than the more common Canada goose. The greater white-fronted goose breeds across the tundra and in Greenland.

What's Happening With Frogs?

    Green frog

Green frogs are a common species. Photo by Ed Eder.

     Several FODMers have noticed what seems to be a decline in several frog species in the western part of the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve in recent years. Can you help conduct a spring frog survey, in the western part of Dyke Marsh, generally behind the River Towers complex near Belle View Boulevard? Volunteers could commit to surveying once a week, every other week or another monitoring schedule of your choice from roughly February to June in the evening. To volunteer, contact co-coordinators Deborah Hammer and Laura Sebastianelli at fodmfrogwatch@gmail.com.

Beavers Are Right at Home in Dyke Marsh

   Low tide
    High tide
     Beavers have built a lodge on a "scrap" of land in what many call "Pipeline Bay" across from the overlook just north of Morningside Lane. The lodge is easily visible from the Mount Vernon trail. The first picture was taken on January 20 at low tide; the second, on January 22 at high tide. Click on photos to enlarge for detail. Photos courtesy of Glenda Booth.

Nature's Free Services

     Nature provides free services, from filtering water pollutants to providing medicines. You can read all about it in this article by FODM President Glenda Booth in Virginia Wildlife magazine.

Sunday Morning Bird Walks

Northern CardinalThe weekly Sunday morning bird walks are held every Sunday all year. Meet at 8 a.m. in the south parking lot of the Belle Haven picnic area. Walks are led by experienced birders and all are welcome.

Coming Events, Spring 2015

     Stop the Sediment,: March 19, Fairfax County stormwater official will host a meeting for the public to present plans to repair the failing “Quander Road outfall” which is sending sediment into the western part of the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Belle View Elementary School, 6701 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria, VA 22307.

     Clean Up Trash: April 11, 9 a. m. to 12 noon. Join FODMers and others and pick up trash and other debris along the shoreline. Wear sturdy shoes and sun protection. The National Park Service will provide bags and gloves. Look for our tables at the Haul Road entrance and near the restrooms along the Mount Vernon trail/bicycle path. This is part of the annual Alice Ferguson Potomac River Watershed Cleanup.

     Raptor Rapture: See live raptors up close on April 25, 10 a. m. to 12 noon, when FODM, the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and the National Park Service will host “Raptor Rapture” in celebration of Earth Day. Look for our tents near the restrooms along the Mount Vernon trail/bicycle path. Great event for youngsters and we’ll have kids’ activities.

   Osprey nest

Osprey nest at Belle Haven Marina. Photo by William Young.

     Fascinating Birds: On May 13, FODMer William Young will give a presentation titled "99 Reasons to be Fascinated by Birds," based on his book, The Fascination of Birds: from the Albatross to the Yellowthroat (Dover Publications, 2014). He will explore the connections between birds and subjects such as biology, ecology, literature, music, history, politics, economics, religion, geography, physics, chemistry, linguistics, the visual arts, the performing arts, sports and comedy. This FODM quarterly meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center and is cosponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and the Northern Virginia Bird Club. If you use a GPS device to find the park, enter the park’s address, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, VA 22306, not the park’s name.

FODM Officers Elected at Annual Meeting

     At the February 22 meeting, our annual membership meeting, FODM members elected all officers and members of our Board of Directors for 2015 for a one-year term.
     The officers elected are as follows: President, Glenda Booth; Vice President, Ned Stone; Secretary/Editor, Dorothy McManus; Treasurer, Robert Smith. Directors - Larry Cartwright, Kurt Gaskill, Trudi Bellardo Hahn, John Perry, Patricia Salamone, Jessica Strother, Bob Veltkamp, Katherine Ennis Wychulis. Past President, Ed Eder, and Alex Romero, Superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, National Park Service, are ex officio members of the Board.
     FODM sent every member a proxy form for establishing a quorum and voting at the meeting in the February newsletter. The FODM officers appreciate the kind support of all the FODM members.

NPS Announces Final Restoration Plan

   Alternative C

Alternative C, courtesy of NPS.
Click photo to enlarge.

     The National Park Service on October 9 announced that the final Dyke Marsh Restoration and Long-term Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is available online. This plan, supported by many scientific studies, has been in development for many years.
     The plan identifies what is called "alternative C" as the preferred alternative, which would restore up to 180 acres of wetland habitats in a phased approach. In phase one, NPS would build a breakwater in the southern part of the marsh to replicate the promontory removed by the dredgers and identified by the U.S. Geological Survey as critical to protecting and restoring wetland habitat.
     The Friends of Dyke Marsh welcome a restoration plan and support alternative C, full restoration. Thank you, NPS, for completing the restoration plan.

Friends of Dyke Marsh, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Copyright 2015 Friends of Dyke Marsh, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last Revised: February 22, 2015