"Path To Improving Atlantic Flyway At Blackwater Is Filled With Mud"

"Converting low marsh to high marsh will help offset erosion caused by rising sea level"

"On the Atlantic Flyway, it takes more than a handful of gravel or an asphalt patch to fix a pothole. It takes a giant dredge pumping an arc of slurry at rock-concert decibels for hours at a time, day after day, with funding that would make many municipal road managers envious.

But these are no ordinary potholes, and the flyway is no road. It’s a major migration route for a host of songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. And one of its most important pit stops, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, is in jeopardy as water gobbles holes in the vast golden-brown marsh on which the birds rely, as do fish, crabs and other wildlife.

This $1.4 million “thin-layering” project, as the dredge-pumping has come to be called, is the first of its kind in the Chesapeake Bay. From late November until mid-December, the refuge and its partners transferred 26,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Blackwater River to 40 acres of marsh near a boat ramp called Shorters Wharf."

Rona Kobell reports for the Bay Journal February 5, 2017.

Source: Bay Journal, 02/07/2017