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Restoring Wetlands

Between 2010 and 2012, 5,503 acres of wetlands were established, rehabilitated or re-established on agricultural lands in the Bay watershed.

July 27, 2011

Laura Bankey, Director of Conservation at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, guides us through the Fort McHenry Wetland. This 7-acre protected marsh was created in the 1980’s as mitigation for the Fort McHenry Tunnel, and it provides critical habitat for wildlife in this heavily industrialized portion of the Chesapeake Bay. However, trash and debris are a major problem that must be managed through the help of community volunteers.
Closed captions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mqth0H5kBPE

Produced by Steve Droter
Music: “Ma Maya Zu” by Löhstana David

July 27, 2011

A team of wildlife professionals is on a mission to eradicate the destructive, invasive rodent nutria from the Chesapeake Bay’s marshes. Steve Kendrot, wildlife biologist with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), leads us on a journey through an Eastern Shore marsh to find signs of nutria, and explains why it’s so important for local landowners to support the eradication project.

Produced by Steve Droter
Music: “Demain je change de vie” by Löhstana David


Because of the many benefits of wetlands – including providing habitat, filtering water and preventing erosion – work is ongoing to increase wetland acreage. This involves establishing wetland outcomes where they do not exist or reestablishing former wetlands to their natural state. Removing invasive species is also a way to rehabilitate degraded wetlands. Additionally, wetlands are often protected through land purchases or conservation easements.

Amount completed since 2010 (baseline year)

Between 2010 and 2012, 5,503 acres of tidal and non-tidal wetlands were established, rehabilitated or reestablished on agricultural lands in the Bay watershed.

Amount completed in 2012

2,231 acres were established or re-established, rehabilitated or reestablished on agricultural lands in the Bay watershed.

Additional Information

Wetlands Restoration Data

All data reported here reflect only established, rehabilitated, or re-established wetlands on agricultural lands.  These wetlands are considered functional and of benefit since they provide increased wetland habitat, among other services.  Although partners report information for wetlands establishment or re-establishment in urban areas, these data are not included in this indicator since some (such as urban stormwater ponds) are established primarily to capture stormwater runoff and are not considered to be valuable habitat.

Beginning in 2010, data used for this indicator are from the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) watershed model scenario input deck.  Input deck data were developed using state submissions (reported via the National Environmental Information Exchange Network - NEIEN), and the CBP Scenario Builder tool.  Wetlands restoration data previously reported in this indicator were not collected in a similar manner and also did not account for the efforts from Delaware, New York and West Virginia.

Functional Gains vs. Acreage Gains

Not all of the wetlands accounted for in this indicator are functional. They are present, but not necessarily serving as a benefit to the Bay. Although projects that result in functional gains on existing wetlands are ecologically beneficial, such projects are different than projects that result in the actual gain of wetland acreage. Therefore, they are tracked separately for purposes of clarity and accuracy.

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