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Interagency partnership to assess and restore a degraded urban riverine wetland: Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Virginia

The George Wright Forum
By: , and 

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Abstract

The narrow-leaved cattail wetland known as Dyke Marsh formally became a land holding of George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP, a unit of the national park system) in 1959, along with a congressional directive to honor a newly-let 30-year commercial sand and gravel dredge-mining lease at the site. Dredging continued until 1974 when Public Law 93-251 called for the National Park Service and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to “implement restoration of the historical and ecological values of Dyke Marsh.” By that time, about 83 acres of the marsh remained, and no congressional funding accompanied the passage of the law to effect any immediate conservation or restoration. Decades of dredge mining had severely altered the surface area of Dyke Marsh, the extent of its tidal creek system, and the shallow river bottom of the Potomac River abutting the marsh. Further, mining destabilized the marsh, causing persistent erosion, shoreline retreat, and tidal channel widening after mining ceased. Erosion has continued unchecked until the present; approximately 50 acres of the original marsh are now estimated to remain. The specific cause of persistent erosion had been unknown prior to this collaborative study but previously was assumed to be due to flooding by the Potomac River.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Interagency partnership to assess and restore a degraded urban riverine wetland: Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Virginia
Series title The George Wright Forum
Volume 31
Issue 2
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher George Wright Society
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 116
Last page 128
Country United States
State Virginia
Other Geospatial Dyke Marsh