Cape Gazette
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Slough's Gut Marsh tops agenda at Dec. 6 meeting of Inland Bays committee

Public is welcome to attend
Dec 04, 2013
Source: Submitted This aerial view of Slough's Gut Marsh near Ocean View shows the results of rehabilitation efforts by The Center for Inland Bays and partners to rehabilitate valuable coastal wetlands.

Topping the agenda at the Friday, Dec. 6 meeting of the Inland Bays Science and Technical Committee is The Slough’s Gut Experience, Rehabilitating a Salt Marsh in Delaware’s Inland Bays. The meeting is from 9 a.m. to noon at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Lewes Field Station, next to the DNREC Boat Ramp at 901 Pilottown Road in Lewes.

For many years, salt marshes around Delaware's bays were commonly ditched for mosquito control, but it is now recognized that this practice can severely alter the habitat and function of valuable coastal wetlands.

In 2009, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, in partnership with Delmarva Power & Light and DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section, began a project to rehabilitate 24 acres of Slough’s Gut in southeastern Indian River Bay. The project in the James Farm Ecological Preserve near Ocean View involved constructing pools, mud flats, and meandering tidal creeks to restore a more natural flow of water through the marsh.

Chris Pfeifer, senior consultant with Cardno ENTRIX, the lead contractor on the project, will present the findings from more than five years of pre- and post-construction monitoring that has been done at the site.

"This is among the first projects of this type completed in the Mid-Atlantic, and given its apparent success, the Slough’s Gut project serves as a useful model for future salt marsh rehabilitation efforts," said Pfeifer.

Also on the agenda is an update on the development of regulations for Inland Bays shellfish aquaculture from Zina Hense, an environmental scientist at DNREC heading up the work.

Changming He of the Delaware Geological Survey will present his research findings on the flow and transport of contaminants in groundwater in eastern Sussex County, with a focus on the impacts of spray irrigation of treated wastewater.

The Science and Technical Advisory Committee is a standing committee of the CIB Board of Directors. The public is welcome to attend these meetings. For more information, contact Sally Boswell, education and outreach coordinator, at 302-226-8105 or at outreach@inlandbays.org.

Presentations from past STAC meetings can be viewed  at www.inlandbays.org.

The Center for the Inland Bays is a nonprofit 501c3 charitable organization established in 1994 to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and its watershed through habitat protection and restoration, science and research, education and outreach and public policy.

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