Friends of Dyke Marsh is a volunteer group dedicated to preserving, restoring and enhancing Dyke Marsh, a freshwater tidal marsh in Fairfax County on the Potomac River just south of Alexandria, Virginia. The Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is administered by the National Park Service.

What Is Dyke Marsh?

The Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is a freshwater, tidal marsh on the Virginia side of the Potomac River in Fairfax County. It is a unit of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, U.S. National Park Service.
For more information, visit the NPS website at

Saving Pumpkin Ash Trees

Bob Smith

FODM and the National Park Service (NPS) have undertaken a project to save some of the preserve's pumpkin ash trees  (Fraxinus profunda) from the emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis), an invasive insect that has been documented in Northern Virginia and will kill all species of ash trees, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture experts. 

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Another Step Toward Restoration

On September 28-29, 2015, National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) officials met to begin the design of the restoration of Dyke Marsh under a NPS-COE interagency agreement.  Officials estimate the design phase will take at least 12 months. 

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Reaching Out at Earth Sangha

Ned Stone

On September 27, the Friends of Dyke Marsh had a table offering Dyke Marsh information at Earth Sangha's semi-annual native plant sale held at their garden in Springfield.  We participated alongside other groups, including the Friends of Huntley Meadows, the Friends of Accotink Creek and the Arlington Master Naturalists. 

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It's Monarch Time!

Be on the lookout for monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus), those four-inch wonders with dark orange wings, black veins and white edge spots.  From September to late October, monarchs in the Eastern U.S. migrate south, some as much as 3,000 miles to overwinter in south-central Mexico's oyamel fir forests. Female monarchs lay their eggs on and larvae feed on milkweed, their only host plant.  

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FODMers Learn about Pollinators

Pollinators visit flowers for nectar and pollen and when visiting flowers, they move pollen from one flower to another of the same species to produce fertile seeds.   Most flowering plants are pollinated by bats, bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, and other animals.   Plants can also be pollinated by wind and water and self-pollinate.

Animal pollinators face many challenges, including pollution, pesticides, habitat loss, invasive plants, disease, parasites and climate change.

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International Attention to Dyke Marsh

Iraqi officails     On April 14, 2015, FODM and the National Park Service led a group of Iraqi officials and scientists on a walking tour of Dyke Marsh. FODM is honored to have had these visitors.  FODM president Glenda Booth has written an article that was published in the April 22, 2015 Mount Vernon Voice newspaper. Click here to view the photos and read the entire article.

$25 Million to Restore Dyke Marsh

Secretary Jewell

U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell on October 24 announced a grant of $25 million to the National Park Service to restore Dyke Marsh, which is eroding six to eight feet a year. The funds are part of the Obama Administration's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy and Climate Action Plan to build resilience by restoring natural features along shorelines and protect communities from future storms.

Dyke Marsh restoration is one of 25 projects that DOI selected for funding out of 94 submitted.

Click here for a video of Secretary Jewell's visit to Dyke Marsh.

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