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, www.nps.gov/gwmp.

Swamp Rose Mallow Is Now Blooming

swamp rose mallowOne of the showiest plants in the late summer marsh is the swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos L.).  It’s a tall shrubby perennial with large heart-shaped leaves.  Its tropical-looking flowers, which can be up to six inches across, are creamy white with a deep red eye and a central column of yellow stamens. 

Dyke Marsh Is "Greening Up"

Dyke Marsh westSnapping turtles are sunning, the spatterdock and pickerelweed are blooming and the marsh is "greening up." This is a photograph of the western part of the preserve, west of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, stretching to the Potomac River in the background, an area busy with beavers, dragonflies, snapping turtles, green frogs, wood ducks, red-winged blackbirds, kingfishers and more. This photograph pickerelweedwas taken on June 18 from the eleventh floor of one of the River Towers' buildings. Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), photo at left, is common in Dyke Marsh. Clusters of violet-blue flowers grow atop large spikes, attracting bees and butterflies. Photos by Glenda Booth.

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.

Ospreys Star

Osprey nest

"Our" osprey pair at the Belle Haven marina boat ramp is featured in a 13-minute video titled "Osprey Love Nest." William Young, an Arlington writer, shot the footage and wrote the script. Ashley Bradford, an artist who lives near Dyke Marsh, does the narration. The video provides information about the behavior, anatomy and field marks of the nesting pair, as well as their interactions with other birds in the marina.

He has shot other videos featuring egrets, coots and earned and horned grebes in the area which are on his page.

Beaver Activity in Western Dyke Marsh

Beaver Activity in Western Dyke Marsh

FODMer Laura Sebastianelli is monitoring beavers in the western part of Dyke Marsh, behind River Towers. On May 1, she spotted two families, two adults and a kit and two adults and two kits nursing. At one point, she saw five adults and three kits on top of the lodge and at least one beaver swimming around. Thank you, Laura. This is a very special, little-visited part of Dyke Marsh.

FODM Participated in Gum Springs Community Day

Ned StoneFODM Vice-President Ned Stone helps a youngster make a bird.On June 20, 2015, the Friends of Dyke Marsh spread the news about the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve to new friends and old at the annual Gum Springs Community Day. Gum Springs is a historic community in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County founded by West Ford, a freed slave, in 1833.

Hats offFODMers joined others in a "hats off" salute to the Fairfax County Police.

Girl Scout Troop 2459 Tackled Trash at Dyke Marsh

Girl ScoutTen enthusiastic Girl Scouts from Troop 2459 visited the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on April 28 and cleaned up trash along the shoreline. They are working on an animal habitat badge. Their Ned Stonetroop leader is Sarah Olson and they are based at Fort Hunt Elementary School in the Mount Vernon area. FODM President Glenda Booth, Vice President Ned Stone and FODMer Patty McCarthy talked about the harm of trash on wildlife and habitat.

International Students Visit Dyke Marsh

StudentsStudents dug holes and planted new native plants. Photo by Glenda Booth.Biology students from the T. C. Williams High School International Academy visited the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on April 25 to learn about native and non-native plants. They planted native wetland-friendly plants along the trail between the “dogleg” and the boardwalk. The students are from all over the world.

Thank you, T. C. Williams students! You are a great group. Come back soon!

Ned Stone Is Recognized

Ned's Award Ned Stone receives the Potomac Champion Award. Photo: Alice Ferguson Foundation.FODM Vice President Ned Stone received the Potomac Champion Award at the Alice Ferguson Foundation's 8th Annual Trash Summit on October 18, 2013. Lori Arguellles, Executive Director of the foundation, lauded Ned's untiring efforts to remove trash from the Potomac River and the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve. “Whether he's cruising along Belle Haven Marina in his kayak with DC Surfriders or making upgrades to the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, he graciously works to mold a future generation of environmental stewards,” she commented. She also cited Ned's work to control invasive plants and lead nature walks.
The Trash Summit is a forum of elected officials, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses and citizens gather to develop approaches to reduce litter and waste in the Potomac watershed.
Congratulations Ned!

  • 1
  • 2