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

Caring for Creation Motivates Group to Support Dyke Marsh

From the tiny blue-fronted dancer damselfly (Argia apicalis) perched on a twig to a fledged, first-year bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) returning to its parent-less Haul Road nest, 25 people from Good Shepherd Catholic Church’s Care for Creation group enjoyed many of nature’s delights on a June 15, 2024, walk led by three FODMers and National Park Service ranger, Daniel Brier.

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Annual Water Quality Monitoring

On April 11 and May 15, 2024, FODM volunteers collected sediment samples from the bed of the unnamed stream that flows through Mount Vernon Park, Westgrove Dog Park, River Towers Condominium properties and into Dyke Marsh. FODM started monitoring this stream in 2016 in partnership with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD).

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Tantalizing Turtles Tutorial

Turtles are slow, unseen by people most of the year and often trivialized in cartoons, but “turtles provoke a sense of wonder and amazement,” said Dr. Matt Close who gave a Zoom presentation to 67 enthusiasts on May 15, 2024.

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FODMer Presented Breeding Bird Survey Results

On April 4, 2024, FODM principal investigator Larry Cartwright shared FODM volunteers’ 30 years of observations of breeding bird activity in the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve at the National Park Service’s 2024 Spotlight on National Park Resources in the National Capital Region.

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FODM-Funded Study Identified New Beetle Species

The late Dr. Edmund O. Wilson wrote that “the diversity of life forms, so numerous that we have yet to identify most of them, is the greatest wonder of this planet.”

A 2023 FODM-funded study of three beetle families of George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) properties is a testament to the pursuit of that wonder.

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