Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge

Project Sheet

Location: Sussex County, Milton, DE, US

Year: 2016 (ongoing)

Project Type(s): Habitat restoration

Project Description: This tidal marsh restoration project encompasses 4,000 acres of degraded tidal marsh and barrier beach located within a formerly impounded wetland system. The site’s salt marsh habitat has been adversely affected by 30 years of impounded freshwater drowning marsh plants. In addition, storm surge from Hurricane Sandy and other storms caused a series of breaches along the impoundments. This tidal marsh restoration project was completed in September 2016 by dredging 30 miles of channels. Sediments from the channel dredging were sidecast from the dredge to elevate open water areas in thin layers to allow plant growth. Spartina patens and Spartina alterniflora plugs were planted in exposed mudflats after channel restoration was completed. Restored marshes were covered with new vegetation after one growing season in many areas where there was shallow open water prior to restoration.