Habitat Development Field Investigations, Windmill Point Marsh Development Site, James River, Virginia. Appendix D. Environmental Impacts of Marsh Development with Dredged Material. Botany, Soils, Aquatic Biology, and Wildlife.
VIRGINIA INST OF MARINE SCIENCE GLOUCESTER POINT
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A marsh island habitat was constructed in the James River between November 1974 and February 1975 from fine-grained dredged material partially contained by a sand dike. The marsh-island contained 4.9 ha of intertidal and low-lying upland substrate within the dike and an intertidal mudflat outside the dike. Benthic invertebrates, fish, wildlife particularly birds, plants and soil characteristics of the habitat development site were studied from summer 1976 to fall 1977. Between the completion of site construction and the beginning of ecological studies, the island was sprigged and seeded with wetland and upland vegetation. The majority of the planted wetland species were grazed and destroyed by wildlife particularly Canada geese most of the upland seeded species were displaced by native plant invasion. The marsh island habitat development was beneficial to the region with respect to biological resources by providing an increase in both food and cover for fish and wildlife relative to the original shallow river bottom. The developed habitat compared favorably with natural reference areas in terms of fish and wildlife resources and productivity. The major threat to the island is severe erosion of its upstream end. Continuous erosion would expose the fine-grained interior of the marsh island to the energies of the mainstream James River.
- Construction Equipment, Materials and Supplies