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The Colt State Park salt marsh is approximately 6 acres in size and is connected to Bristol Harbor by a culvert under Poppasquash Road. Two tidal restrictions are found along the northern and southern sides of the marsh. The northern tidal restriction is an old stone wall/dike across the marsh. The southern tidal restriction is a driveway, which provides access to a neighboring landowner. Neither tidal restriction has culverts to allow for the exchange of water.

In an evaluation of the marsh conducted by Save The Bay staff and volunteers, Save The Bay found that a section of the marsh north of the stone dike tidal restriction was being mowed on a regular basis.


Restoration Efforts

Save The Bay worked in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Management’s Park Department to revise the mowing plan for the park and to restore salt marsh and bordering grassland habitat.

Save The Bay assisted the Park Manager and a neighboring landowner in gaining funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to address the tidal restrictions in the marsh.  NRCS is designing a culvert for the southern tidal restriction to restore tidal flow to a section of the marsh, and proposing that sections of the wall along the northern section of the marsh be removed. Another component of the project is to relocate a paved walking path to higher ground in order to increase grassland habitat and the marsh buffer zone.

Save The Bay established fixed transects at the restoration site to track changes in plant community structure and composition. Working with the Rhode Island Association of Wetland Scientists, Save The Bay completed baseline vegetative and elevation surveys in 1999. This data will further direct restoration.

 
 
 
 
 
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