Sixty Belleview Elementary School students, teachers and parents visited the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve on a blustery November 4 to learn how animals and plants in the wetland ecosystem are preparing for winter. National Park Service rangers Emily Zivot and Miguel Roberson led the walk. FODM President Glenda Booth attended the walk and provided the following photo essay.
Standing on the wooden bridge, Ranger Emily Zivot told the youngsters that the “sad looking plants” caked in mud and disappearing into the muck are spatterdock, a common wetland plant.
Ranger Miguel Roberson let the students feel a beaver pelt and explained that beavers live in Dyke Marsh (photo at top).
FODM presented pictures of the Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve to our federal elected officials, in appreciation of their support of our efforts and the preserve: Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb and Congressmen Jim Moran, Gerry Connolly and John Dingell. On August 1, FODMers Glenda Booth, Ned Stone, Trudi Hahn and Dorothy McManus met with Senator Tim Kaine and gave him a photograph of the marsh, taken by Ned Stone.
By Erik Oberg, Biologist, NPS
On September 27, NPS's Natural Resources and Lands staff marked Dyke Marsh's federal boundary in the Potomac River with 11 buoys. This marks the end of four years of work to secure the approvals, permits and funding to help visitors see and understand the full extent of Dyke Marsh and how much land has eroded since the NPS began managing the marsh.
Working as a team, park staff safely moved and set over 3,300 pounds of concrete anchors, buoys and chain. With excellent satellite reception, anchors were placed within 17 inches of the target for every location. Each anchor was given enough chain to allow for site-specific water depth, anchor sinkage, tide and peak flood variation.
In addition to placing all 11 boundary buoys, NPS staff also gave assistance to U.S. Geological Survey researchers by extracting three soil cores from the marsh. These cores will be analyzed to provide a millennium-scale climate record of the region and supplement a new joint publication.