On the lovely, warm, sunny day of August 8, 2015, I led 19 ecology students and professional ecologists and one child for a too-abbreviated visit to the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve (DMWP), as part of the special 100th anniversary meeting of the Ecological Society of America being held at the Baltimore Convention Center.
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.
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.
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.
Producers of This American Land chose the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve as one of America's little known but special places. We agree. View a video of it.
"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.
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.
Ten enthusiastic Girl Scouts from Troop 2459 visited the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on April 28, 2015 and cleaned up trash along the shoreline. They are working on an animal habitat badge. Their troop 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.
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.
Biology students from the T. C. Williams High School International Academy visited the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on April 25, 2015 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!
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.
On August 9, 2014, Carson Cameron and his Boy Scout Troop 1509 colleagues installed a new bulletin board and bicycle racks at the Haul Road entrance as an Eagle Scout Service Project. Carson organized 16 boys and adults who worked diligently from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. FODM thanks Carson, his helpers and the National Park Service for the new bulletin board.