July 15, 2016
Aaron LaRocca, (703) 289-2500
MCLEAN, Va. – The National Park Service has completed its planning process to help restore Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. Once implemented, this plan will improve ecosystem services that benefit the Potomac River watershed and the Chesapeake Bay. Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is a large wetland area on the Potomac River south of Alexandria, Va. The marsh is one of the few remaining tidal freshwater marshes on the Potomac River.
This project is needed to protect the existing wetlands from erosion, non-native invasive plants, loss of habitat, and altered hydrologic regimes, and to restore wetlands and ecosystem functions and other ecological processes. These actions would improve flood protection, sediment and toxicant retention, protect and create additional wildlife habitat, and add recreational, scientific and educational value.
The NPS, in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will implement Alternative C: Hydrologic Restoration and Fullest Possible Extent of Wetland Restoration, which was described as the NPS's preferred alternative in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (final plan/FEIS). This action will restore the marsh up to the historic boundary, except for the area immediately adjacent to the Belle Haven Marina. The project includes installation of a breakwater, establishment of marsh in the footprint of the historic promontory, placement of fill in the deep channels within the park boundaries, and restoration of marsh along the edge of existing marsh in waters fewer than 4 feet deep (approximately 40 acres) to stabilize the marsh and protect Hog Island Gut. The NPS is required to restore Dyke Marsh under Public Law (P.L.) 93-251 and Water Resources Development Act of 2007.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for the 412 parks in the National Park System and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.