Wildlife habitat makes a comeback as Prime Hook project mends Hurricane Sandy’s destruction

By Lynn R. Parks  |  Photograph by Kevin Fleming
From the October 2017 issue

FeaturePrimeHook Saving a Salt Marsh - Delaware Beach LifeJust two years ago, the view from Fowler Beach Road east of Milton was very different from what it is now. What had been freshwater wetlands, artificially created and maintained as part of the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, was all water.

“We called it Prime Hook Sound,” says Annabella Larsen, wildlife biologist at the refuge. “We had lost all the wetlands and everything was covered with saltwater.”

Today, though, the area is home to a growing high salt marsh. More than a third of the area that was open water is now green with plants, primarily cordgrass.

“This is so impressive,” says Al Rizzo, project leader at Prime Hook as well as at the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Dover. Rizzo and Larsen comment as they ride east on Fowler Beach Road, on a mission to examine the marsh’s progress. “All of this growth has happened in just two years.”

 

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