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Held on Wednesday 7:30 p.m. at Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard,
Alexandria, VA 22306.
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$25 Million to Restore Dyke Marsh
U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally
Jewell on October 24 announced a grant of $25 million to the National Park Service to restore Dyke Marsh,
which is eroding six to eight feet a year. The funds are part of the Obama
Administration’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy and Climate Action Plan
to build resilience by restoring natural features along shorelines and
protect communities from future storms.
Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell speaks surrounded by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Congressman Jim Moran, and
FODM President Glenda Booth. Photo: T.D. Hobart.
“What we witnessed during Hurricane Sandy was that our public lands and
other natural areas are often the best defense against Mother Nature,”
Jewell said. “By stabilizing marshes and beaches, restoring wetlands, and
improving the resiliency of coastal areas, we not only create opportunities
for people to connect with nature and support jobs through increased outdoor
recreation, but we can also provide an effective buffer that protects local
communities from powerful storm surges and devastating floods when a storm
like Sandy hits.”
In a 2010 study, U.S. Geological Survey scientists concluded, “Analysis of
field evidence, aerial photography, and published maps has revealed an
accelerating rate of erosion and marsh loss at Dyke Marsh, which now appears
to put at risk the short term survivability of this marsh. . . This
freshwater tidal marsh has shifted from a semi-stable net depositional
environment (1864–1937) into a strongly erosional one.”
Dyke Marsh shoreline is eroding at an accelerating rate.
Photo by Ned Stone.
FODM has worked for many years to restore Dyke Marsh and thanks many
individuals at the National Park Service, Department of Interior,
Congressman Jim Moran and other elected officials for their support.
Dyke Marsh restoration is one of 25 projects that DOI selected for funding
out of 94 submitted.
The Department's announcement is online here.
Read our newsletter page for more information.
Dyke Marsh on NPR Again
Dyke Marsh restoration was featured on WAMU Radio’s "Metro Connection" on December 20, 2013 in a story by Jonathan Wilson, following up on their story last year. You can learn all about it
Dyke Marsh Gets TV and Online Recognition
Producers of This American Land chose the Dyke
Marsh Wildlife Preserve as one of America's little known but special places.
We agree. View a video of it online here.
Comment on Dyke Marsh Restoration
by March 18
The National Park Service is accepting comments on the Draft Dyke Marsh Restoration and Long-term Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) until Tuesday, March 18, 2014. The plan evaluates three management options, including full restoration or option C. The draft plan/EIS and the NPS newsletter are available on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website.
Offering Thanks to John Dingell
FODM President Glenda Booth has written the following letter to the editor and was published in the Washington Post.
Master legislator John D. Dingell (D) has ably represented the 12th District of Michigan for more than 58 years, but his accomplishments reach far beyond his district. One of his lesser-known achievements occurred in 1959, when he authored and shepherded to enactment a bill that added the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve in Fairfax County to the national parks system.
This 485-acre preserve along the shoreline of the Potomac River is a rare, freshwater, tidal wetland supporting more than 300 species of plants, 6,000 arthropods, 38 fish, 16 reptiles, 14 amphibians and 270 birds. It is the only site in the upper Potomac zone with a breeding population of marsh wrens and has state-threatened breeding populations of least bitterns. Dyke Marsh is rapidly disappearing, but thankfully, a restoration plan is near.
Mr. Dingell’s bill preserved Dyke Marsh “so that fish and wildlife development and their preservation as wetland wildlife habitat shall be paramount.” Lucky for us, he had the foresight and concern to work beyond the parochial boundaries of his Michigan district. Congress, the nation, the people and, yes, the critters owe him great thanks.
FODM Spring Calendar
Spring Cleanup, April 5 - Join us for the annual Alice Ferguson Foundation trash cleanup on the Potomac River, April 5, cosponsored by the National Parks and Conservation Association and the National Park Service. Meet at 9:30 a.m. near the restroom/bike path, Belle Haven picnic area or at the Haul Road entrance to the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Wear sturdy shoes.
Spring Walk, April 19 - See spring unfold with Alonso Abugattas, Arlington County Natural Resources Manager, on a walk, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Meet at the Haul Road entrance.
Earth Day, Raptor Rapture, April 26 - Join us on April 26, 10 a.m. to 12 noon to see raptors up close, birds of prey that have been rehabilitated but cannot survive on their own. Near the trail and restrooms at Belle Haven Park.
Cosponsored by the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia and the National Park Service.
The quarterly meetings of the Friends of Dyke Marsh in 2014 will be held on the dates below. All meetings will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the
Huntley Meadows Park Visitor Center, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, VA
Wednesday, May 14, Birds -- Specific topic to be determined.
Wednesday, September 10, Climate Change, Storms and the Role of Wetlands –
How severe weather events are increasing, how wetlands buffer shorelines and
absorb floodwaters, among other functions.
Wednesday, November 12, Bats -- The fascinating world of bats, our only
flying mammal, their importance and threats.
Sunday morning bird walks
The weekly Sunday morning bird walks are held every Sunday morning 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.