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Contact: Sue Haley, District Interpreter, 508-255-3421 ext. 15
Join Cape Cod National Seashore Restoration Ecologist Tim Smith at 7 pm on Tuesday, July 2 at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham to learn about the history of the Herring River and the seashore's plans to restore it. The Herring River is the largest estuary on Outer Cape Cod. It flows for four miles from its headwater kettle ponds in North Wellfleet to its mouth at Wellfleet Harbor. The river's floodplain encompasses over 1,100 acres of degraded estuarine habitat occupying a complicated network of five valleys carved out of glacial outwash deposited 10,000 years ago. The Chequessett Neck Road Dike, built in 1908, along with smaller upstream dikes, culverts, and ditches, have completely altered the natural chemical, physical, and biological conditions within 1,100 acres of upstream habitats. The once expansive and thriving salt marshes have been transformed into almost impenetrable stands of non-native, invasive plants, and shrubby woodland thickets.
Tidal restoration to the Herring River system will be achieved by rebuilding the dike at Chequessett Neck Road in order to restore natural tidal range and salinity throughout the floodplain. Reestablishing the physical connection with the marine environment will allow exchange of sediment, nutrients, and organic matter and improve water quality. Invasive, salt-intolerant plants will be eliminated, including non-native species, and native salt marsh plants and animals will be reestablished. The project is the largest and most ambitious of its kind in New England and enjoys widespread support among local governments, community organizations, and state and federal agenciesThis upcoming program is part of the annual "Tuesday Evening Series" at Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham.Held weekly at 7 PM in July and August in the air-cooled comfort of the visitor center auditorium, programs cover the diverse natural and cultural resources on the Outer Cape and are suitable for all ages, free of charge and accessible.The series is sponsored by the Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore.
IF YOU GO:Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at the intersection of Route 6 and Nauset Road in Eastham, and can be contacted by calling 508-255-3421.The center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM and staff is available to assist with activity planning.Stop by and visit the museum, view a park film, enjoy panoramic views of Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh and shop in the gift store featuring interpretive items such as books, maps, puzzles, apparel, and games.For more information about the seashore's programs, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/caco.