U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore 82 acres of salt marsh along Assateague Channel

April 9, 2024
Chincoteague national wildlife refuge

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is home to a variety of significant species like the salt marsh sparrow, which is being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, and the threatened piping plover. Many other species rely on salt marsh habitat — including people.

Conserving salt marshes is important to maintain shorelines, protect communities, keep marine ecosystems healthy, and help coastal economies thrive. Today, however, these fragile ecosystems are threatened by a host of natural and human-caused impacts.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that the U.S. loses 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands, including salt marshes, each year, mostly due to development and sea-level rise, which can drown the marshes in places where there isn’t adequate undeveloped adjacent land to allow them to migrate.

That’s why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is excited to partner with Ducks Unlimited (South Atlantic), to restore 82 acres of tidal salt marsh along Assateague Channel as part of a greater conservation effort in the 14,000-acre Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

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The project, funded by $500,000 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, aims to restore habitat for wildlife. It also hopes to enhance community resilience to climate hazards by creating a buffer against tidal surge.

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