Twenty-three acres of a degraded section of Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Maryland were converted to wetland habitat by the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company in 1994. The wetlands were created as mitigation for 14 acres of wetlands that were impacted as part of the construction of a 5.3 mile 500kv overhead transmission line on the Refuge. The area consists of a created forested wetland (13.5 acres), a seasonally inundated green-tree reservoir (6.5 acres), and an impounded pond wetland (3 acres). Construction included the planting of 6,131 trees, 4,276 shrubs, and 15,102 emergent plants. Part of the site has been studied intensively since completion and survival of trees and shrubs after 2 years was 88%. Measurements of these transplants, have shown growth greater than on other created sites in Maryland. Grasses and other herbaceous vegetation were dominant plants in the meter-square plots in the first two years of sampling of the created forested wetland. Wildlife surveys for birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles have revealed diverse communities. Although these communities represent species consistent with open habitat, more typical forest species should colonize the area as it undergoes succession into a more mature forested wetland. The creation, management, and research of this mitigation site represents an excellent example of a partnership between a private electric power company and a federal wildlife refuge. This partnership has increased local biodiversity and improved regional water quality of the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay.
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Wetlands mitigation: Partnership between an electric power company and a federal wildlife refuge