2013-2014 Priority Projects
Waterfowl Chesapeake is proud to announce the highest-ranking projects from its inaugural Project Registry review process completed in October. Of the eleven projects submitted and then reviewed by Waterfowl Chesapeake’s Alliance for Waterfowl Conservation, three were deemed the most important to support. They are Waterfowl Chesapeake’s Habitat Resources Program, Pickering Creek Audubon Center’s Wetland Restoration & Education Project and the Martin National Wildlife Refuge Living Shoreline.
This new initiative will reach out to Delmarva landowners interested in creating, restoring and conserving habitat and expanding food resources for waterfowl on their lands, and who need information on programs and tools to help them realize their conservation goals.
Waterfowl Chesapeake will accomplish this program by:
- Developing a “One Stop Shop” website with a menu of resources, tools, tax benefits and programs available to conservation-minded owners;
- Designating a representative to supplement the program with “hands-on” individualized guidance; and
- Conducting several workshops to inform landowners and the general public of the Program.
The initiative will offer to all citizens affordable access to knowledge and resources generally available only to those with specialized knowledge or having the financial ability to retain such services.
The Habitat Resources Program is designed to stimulate greater private conservation activity on Delmarva, leading to an increased level of restored or expanded habitat and waterfowl food resources. The resulting “on-the-ground” action also will benefit other wildlife species of the region and the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.
Waterfowl Benefiting from Project: All waterfowl species
The greatest threat facing waterfowl and other wildlife is loss of habitat.
An equally important challenge is the widespread lack of understanding and appreciation of nature by our future leaders — today’s youth.
Waterfowl Chesapeake would like to promote awareness and direct its support to an exceptional combined habitat and education project at Pickering Creek Audubon Center, a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center located on an undeveloped tributary of the Wye River.
To help replace disappearing habitat for waterfowl and wildlife, this project will add 15 acres of wetland waterfowl habitat to over 100 acres previously restored as wetlands, woodlands and grass meadows. The Center’s environmental education programs will connect this worthy project with high school science teachers and tenth grade students who will become our future policy and scientific leaders.
Wetland viewing platforms and an improved trail system at the Center are other key educational components of this outstanding project.
Waterfowl Benefiting from Project: American black duck, American widgeon, Blue-winged teal, Canada goose, Eastern mallard, Gadwall, Green-winged teal, Hooded merganser, Northern pintail, Northern shoveler, Ruddy duck, Tundra swan, and Wood duck.
Martin National Wildlife Refuge Living Shoreline –
Somerset County, Md.
The American black duck is one of the most threatened of all waterfowl species in the Chesapeake. The remote and pristine marshlands and submerged aquatic vegetation (“SAV”) beds of Martin National Wildlife Refuge – immediately north of Smith Island – support one of the largest remaining populations of nesting black duck in the Bay.
High tides are currently breaching a thin strip of sand and marsh between the Bay and the interior of the island endangering the SAV beds of Lighting Knot Cove. If not protected, the erosive wind and wave action will push through the Cove compromising the food resources and habitat for black ducks, as well as other waterfowl.
This project will restore and protect 800 ft of shoreline buffering Lighting Cove through the installation of triangular concrete wave attenuation devices that will absorb the high energy wave action of the Chesapeake Bay but still allow for the natural shoreline process.
This shoreline restoration project will result in preserving 60 acres of sheltered shallow waters and tidal wetland serving as critical habitat for nesting black duck, and wintering habitat for Tundra swan, American widgeon, Canada goose, hooded mergansers and several other waterfowl species. These shoreline protection measures will also help maintain important fish and shellfish habitat including the vital soft crab fishery of Smith Island.
Waterfowl Benefiting from Project: American black duck, Bufflehead, American widgeon, Canada goose, Gadwall, Hooded merganser, Northern pintail, Tundra swan, Long-tailed duck, Scaup, Surf scoter
The Alliance for Waterfowl Conservation gave its highest ranking to this project and shortly after the Alliance ranking, the project was awarded a major grant from the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Program.
To learn more about the Project Registry, click here.
To submit your project, click here.