Project Update

March 19, 2010   Construction is complete! Below are a few post-construction photos.

Wenley Ferguson, Save The Bay's Director of Restoration shows off a newly cleaned creek. This creek will allow better tidal flow in and out of the marsh.

This is a new culvert under the footpath just upstream of the creek Wenley is standing in.

 

February 5, 2010   RC&D began clearing the footpath today to allow space for construction equipment access.

 

 January 25, 2010 After many years of degradation, construction will begin in early February to restore Jacob’s Point salt marsh in Warren, RI.  Owned by the Warren Land Conservation Trust, the Jacob’s Point salt marsh is a scenic 47-acre marsh bordered by the East Bay Bike path and the Warren River. 

Natural tidal flow has been restricted into the marsh by a footpath that extends from the bike path to the Warren River causing the invasive plant, Phragmites, to expand throughout the marsh.  Restoration will include installing 3 pipes under the footpath and clearing out clogged creeks to improve tidal flow and treating the invasive Phragmites.

Project development began over a decade ago and has been made possible by a collaboration of partners and funders including the Warren Land Conservation Trust, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Save The Bay, a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Community-based Restoration Program and Restore America’s Estuaries, the RI DEM Mosquito Abatement Program, the Town of Warren, and the RI Coastal Resources Management Council, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island and the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.  Save The Bay identified Jacobs Point in 1996 as a potential restoration site based upon a salt marsh assessment conducted by local volunteers. After which time, Save The Bay conducted site assessments of the marsh and recruited the local and federal partners to conduct the restoration.

The project goals include reintroducing tidal flow to the marsh in order to reestablish native salt marsh plants and to decrease the amount of the invasive plant, Phragmites, increasing fish and bird use of the marsh, and reducing the mosquito population.

Construction activities including the installation of the new pipes and excavation of the creeks will begin in late January.  Spraying and mulching the invasive Phragmites will occur over several years to encourage growth of native marsh plants.

 

 

April 8, 2009 - RIDEM's Mosquito Abatement Coordinator, Al Gettman, and staff from Save The Bay conducted crushing of patches of Phragmites australis to the north of the footpath. The crushing will facilitate herbicide treatment of the invasive Phragmites that is scheduled to take place in a few months. The same evening, a public meeting was held on the Jacob's Point salt marsh restoration project at the 1st Methodist Church in Warren. Save The Bay, NRCS, and the Warren Land Trust presented on the history of the marsh, current conditions, monitoring results, and the restoration plan. Attendees asked many good questions, and the presentation was well received.

April, 2008 - a wildfire swept from north to south along the Jacob's Point salt marsh, destroying the Audubon boardwalk across the southern end of the marsh (see pictures below). Save The Bay and NRCS staff conducted site visits shortly after the fire to assess the impact to the marsh. The change was remarkable. The majority of the thick, tall stands of invasive Phragmites were burnt to the ground. We found historic creeks and old stone walls that we'd never seen before. Seeing the marsh for the first time without the Phragmites will help us refine our restoration plan. Our first steps will be to secure a permit to do a spring or summer treatment of the invasive Phragmites with a herbicide. This was highly difficult before due to our inability to access the new shoots growing up through the dense standing dead vegetation. This action is necessary and timely since invasive Phragmites actually loves fire. Fire releases a lot of nutrients into the soil, and clears away old vegetation allowing for better light penetration to the new shoots.

 Several shots looking north along the East Bay bikepath.

What's left of the Audubon boardwalk.

 

May 28, 2008 - Read this great Warren Times article about the project.