University of New England Coastal Trail and Marsh Restoration Project - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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University of New England Coastal Trail and Marsh Restoration Project PowerPoint Presentation
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University of New England Coastal Trail and Marsh Restoration Project

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University of New England Coastal Trail and Marsh Restoration Project

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  1. University of New England Coastal Trail and Marsh Restoration Project Dr. Pamela Morgan’s “Restoring Coastal Habitats in the Gulf of Maine” class Spring 2008

  2. Overview • Project Phases: Marsh Restoration and Coastal Trail Plan • What We Did • Observations & Research • Maps • What We Plan To Do • Goals • Marsh Restoration Plan • Coastal Trail Plan • Design Ideas • Why is this an important project? • Benefits to the UNE community

  3. Project Phases: Marsh Restoration and Coastal Trail Plan • Two parts: • The restoration of a UNE coastal salt marsh • The design of a coastal trail along UNE’s waterfront property

  4. Illustration of a Typical Salt Marsh http://soundbook.soundkeeper.org/images/wetland_profile.jpg

  5. Why are salt marshes important? • Healthy marshes serve important ecological functions: • Prevent erosion • Filter water & play a crucial role in carbon cycling • A natural habitat for many species of fish, birds & other wildlife • Are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, yet are very fragile and easily disturbed

  6. Coastal Marsh Restoration Goals • Assess & minimize current impacts • Restore site to a healthy state • Improve ecological functions of the site & enhance aesthetic values

  7. Current Marsh Impacts

  8. Coastal Trail Goals • Expose people to the beauty of UNE’s coastal location • Educate people about the benefits of coastal wetlands

  9. What We Did: Observations & Research • Coastal Wetland Restoration class – researching the benefits of coastal wetlands • Observing area of marsh and trail, researching the degradation and impacts of UNE’s coastal salt marsh • Surveying the local community • Researching federal and state wetland laws and regulations & historical use of the area

  10. What We Did: Creating Maps • Contour map (elevations & surface water flow) • Current structures map (current buildings, lots) • Coastal views (aesthetic views from projected trail site) • Soils & vegetation maps (conditions of marsh area) • Aerial maps from Google Earth & historical aerial views were used • helped to determine optimal areas for trail design • assisted in the marsh restoration project to determine surrounding land quality of the marsh

  11. Contour Map: Site Elevations & Surface Water Flow

  12. Current Structures Map: Current Buildings, Parking Lots & Structures

  13. Coastal Views: Aesthetic Views Along Projected Trail

  14. Soils Map: Current Soil Types & Quality of Marsh Area

  15. Vegetation Map: Current Vegetation At and Around Marsh and Trail Area

  16. Aerial Maps – Current Google Earth & Historical Aerial Views

  17. What We Plan To Do: Proposed Marsh Restoration Plan • Potential habitats • Landscaping • Hydrology • Water quality • Soils • Vegetation • Animal communities

  18. Potential Habitats • Salt marsh with an adjacent upland • Acts as a buffer (Zedler 2000) • Increases biodiversity (Zedler 2000) • Wetland-upland transition zone • Most naturally occurring type (Zedler 2000) • Allows plant species to migrate upland to compensate for sea level rise (Zedler 2000)

  19. Landscaping • Gradation of the site • Gentle slope from shoreline to end of project site • Wetland-upland transition zone • Essential for migration of plants towards land (Zedler 2000) http://www.qc.ec.gc.ca/faune/AtlasDeRestaurationDesRivesDuSaint-Laurent /annexes/rive%20en%20remblai%20pente%20douce1.jpg

  20. Hydrology • Appropriate elevations are necessary • Too low  flooding • Too high  not enough flooding, area will become dry • Proper gradation of the landscape is vital • Prevents erosion • Allows for freshwater input • “Significant component of hydrology” (Zedler 2000) • Rainwater can be filtered into the marsh (Zedler 2000)

  21. Water Quality • Main solution  correct current pollution issues • Can cause death of plant communities (Kennish 2001) • Toxic materials lead to bioaccumulation (Day et. Al 1989) • Limit runoff of hazardous materials • Remove debris and litter

  22. Soils • Goal  create conditions that will support plant and animal communities • Compacted soil will need to be loosened with power auger or rototiller (Zedler 2000) • Remove substrates and excavate fill on marsh surface • Organic materials and fertilizers may need to be added (Zedler 2000)

  23. Vegetation • Important aspect of salt marsh systems (Zedler 2000) • Select species historically and presently native to area • Determine boundaries of high and low marsh: different species in each area (Penning and Bertness 1999) • Favor salt tolerant species at first, such as Spartina alterniflora(Pennings and Bertness 1999) • Prohibit public access to limit trampling

  24. Animal Communities • Stable plant community essential for animals • Foundation of food-webs (Day et al. 1989) • Removal of green crab (Carcinus maenas) • Dominant non-native invasive species • Select species historically and presently native to area • Introduction program http://www.glaucus.org.uk/ShoreCrabsDSCF0882E.jpg

  25. Monitoring • Hydrology • Soil water depths and salinities, erosion and accretion rates, and range of tidal flooding (Burdick et al. 1997) • Water quality • Salinity, pH, pollution levels, and sediment clarity (Pennings and Bertness 1999) • Soils • Soil cores, elevation and erosion rates, and organic matter content (Zedler 2000) • Vegetation • Species present, species abundance, growth rates, biomass, and presence of invasive species (Zedler 2001) • Animal Communities • Species present, species abundance, biodiversity, and presence of invasive species (Zedler 2000)

  26. References Cited • Bertness, M.D., S.D. Gaines, M.E. Hay and S.C. Pennings. 1999. Marine Community Ecology. Sinaeu Associates, Sunderland, MA. • Burdick, M.M., M. Dionne, R.M. Boumans and F.T. Short. 1997. Ecological responses to tidal restorations of two northern New England salt marshes. Wetlands Ecology and Management 4(2): 129-144. • Day, J.W., C. Hall, W. Kemp, and A Yanez-Arancibia. 1989. Estuarine Ecology. John Wiley and Sons, New York; Background, Theory and Issues Ch 1 (pp. 3-45); Human Impacts in Estuaries Ch 13 (pp. 512-543). • Kennish, M.J., 2001. Coastal Salt Marsh Systems in the US: A Review of Anthropogenic Impacts. Journal of Coastal Research 17(3):731-748. • Zedler, J.B. (ed.) 2000. Handbook for Restoring Tidal Wetlands. CRC Press, NY.

  27. What We Plan To Do: Coastal Trail Plan • Trail from Security Office (new “Welcome Center”) to kiosk • Shed removal, removal of adjacent parking lots • Construction of outdoor classroom & “green space” • Informational kiosks at head of trail & interpretive signs along trail

  28. Coastal Trail Plan Design

  29. Coastal Trail Design: Features

  30. Design Ideas: Before & After

  31. Design Ideas: Before & After

  32. Why is this an important project? • Function and Values of a healthy salt marsh • Aesthetics • Recreational and Educational use for UNE community (Vision Statement) • Trail • Outdoor Classroom • “Green space”