Wicomico Regional Airport Mitigation Wetlands
As a result of the expansion of a regional airport, Biohabitats was contracted by a mitigation banking firm to develop a wetland mitigation project that involved the restoration of approximately 50 acres of forested wetland in existing agricultural fields. The project site was altered, ditched agricultural fields with drained wetlands, and it included interface with adjacent estuarine tidal wetlands. Biohabitats performed site assessments, installed and monitored monitoring wells, coordinated survey efforts, and prepared grading and sediment control plans and contract documents for the 50 acre project. Our approach involved site grading, including excavation of several large shallow ponds, plugging and filling of numerous surface drainage ditches, and the installation of more than 50,000 wetland trees and shrubs. Biohabitats also coordinated federal and state wetland permitting, provided construction oversight, and performed five years of monitoring. During the monitoring, Biohabitats also led the invasive plant suppression for Phragmites, multiflora rose, and several other non-native species.
Within two years of construction, the woody stem density increased from the installed 1,000-acre to more than 1,500-acre as a result of natural colonization from adjacent forested wetland areas. More than 10,000 Atlantic white cedar were installed in the wettest areas of sandy soils.
Following initial construction, Biohabitats performed additional adaptive management on-site to address inappropriate neighbor access, mowing, and dumping by erecting fencing along a property edge with the offender as well as at other potential access points.