Since 2008 the National Aquarium has worked with the US Navy to restore portions of the Potomac River surrounding Naval Support Facility Indian Head and Stump Neck Annex. This newly created riparian buffer protects the shoreline from severe erosion while providing habitat to the local wildlife.
In June, 2013 the conservation team along with the Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) returned to plant native wetland grasses best suited for the restoration area.
In total the operation included 15 Aquarium staff and 20 MCC to plant 20,000 grasses. The 1,806 trees planted in the fall of 2012 by community volunteers were also monitored and yield a survival rate of 95 percent!
Riparian buffers are essential to healthy ecosystems by preventing sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants reaching the waterway. They also provide valuable habitat for migratory songbirds and raptors. During the restoration several American bald eagles and osprey were observed occupying the area.
The Aquarium has plans to complete the planting portion of the restoration by the end of 2013. At this time the success of the shoreline will be monitored annually with staff and volunteers.
Want to get involved with our conservation initiatives? Join us at our next field event!