Elders Point East Marsh Island Restoration Monitoring Data Analysis
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg United States
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Chronic loss of intertidal salt marsh island habitat in Jamaica Bay, New York, has led to efforts by multi-agency partnerships to reduce loss through habitat restoration. A 2006 USACE New York District report recommended restoration of three marsh islands within the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area Elders Point East, Elders Point West, and Yellow Bar Hassock. USACE New York District and its local sponsor, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, utilized sand obtained from navigation dredging and commercial sources to 1 return approximately 16 hectares 40 acres of bay area to full Spartina alterniflora marsh and wetland functionality, and 2 test a suite of management practices to enhance the probability of long-term success. Although the long-term success of the Elders Point East Marsh restoration project cannot be confirmed by the 2007-2012 term of post-construction monitoring, nearly all lines of evidence gathered to date indicate that the marsh is following a functional equivalency trajectory toward an endpoint comparable to reference conditions. In this case, the beneficial use of dredged material proved to be a viable option for restoration of sufficient habitat area to substantially enhance lost ecological function within the Jamaica Bay ecosystem.