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January 30, 2014

DNR and Partners Restore Shoreline at Ferry Point Park

by kking

Before: Eroded shoreline. New jetty can be seen in background.

Volunteers sought for final phase, spring planting

After nearly five years of planning and five months of construction, the deteriorating coast along Ferry Point will soon be fully transformed to a resilient and robust living shoreline, following a grass planting this spring. Made possible through a partnership between the State and Queen Anne’s County, the project restores the loss of wetland in Kent Island, safeguards land and sea life habitat, protects Kent Narrows from extreme weather, and enhances recreation.

Located on the north end of Kent Narrows within Ferry Point Park, the property is a 41-acre parcel of marshland that provides habitat for a variety of wildlife, such as horseshoe crabs, terrapins, bald eagles and osprey. The park serves as an environmental education site, offering a variety of activities include fishing, swimming, bird watching, hiking, canoeing and kayaking.

“From the moment this property was available for acquisition, it was decided the land of Ferry Point Park would serve to provide not only passive recreation and habitat protection opportunities, but the very important service of protecting the county economic hub of Kent Narrows from the perils of storm surge, erosion, wind and weather,” said Queen Anne County Environmental Planner Nancy Scozzari. “This land has really worked well to perform the job!”

This site was chosen because of its location and characteristics. The shore serves as a barrier shielding Kent Narrows from waves and wind-generated storms, and protecting millions of dollars worth of economic activity generated by restaurants and other attractions centered in the area.

After: Shoreline has been replenished with dredged sand. The area is set to be planted with native grasses this spring.

After: Shoreline has been replenished with dredged sand. The area is set to be planted with native grasses this spring.

Since construction began last September, crews have been busy bolstering the area using a variety of innovative shoreline restoration techniques including headland breakwaters, dune stabilization, low-profile sills, marsh reinforcement using a variety of plants, and containment berms made up of concrete, sand and dredged material. Together these practices restored valuable shoreline that washed away, and secured the existing and newly constructed beach and wetland area.

The final stage will take place in late spring. Volunteers from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation working with DNR’s Maryland Conservation Corps will further enhance the area with native plants such as salt marsh hay, smooth cord grass and switchgrass, provided by the county nursery. Click here for a video of the seed collection. To volunteer for the spring planting contact Claudia Donegan, DNR Habitat Restoration and Conservation section chief at cdonegan@dnr.state.md.us.

“Partnerships such as this help us identify areas that would benefit most from restorations and recruit like-minded conservationists, and volunteers, with a vested interest in enhancing their communities and environment,” said Donegan. “Together, utilizing one another’s’ knowledge, talents and resources, we are able to do so much more.”

The improvements have been made possible through the combined efforts of DNR Chesapeake & Coastal Service, DNR Boating Administration, Queen Anne’s County, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Delmarva RC&D Council, Inc.

Ferry Point Park was established in 2008 through DNR’s Program Open Space. The park’s 530-foot boardwalk provides access to trails and beautiful vistas of the Chester River, Kent Narrow Piney Creek and Swan Cove. In order to sustain the park’s educational and natural purposes, the Ferry Point Project works with Mother Nature to trap sediments, maintain healthy habitats and secure this crucial shoreline for the purpose of remediation of historically protective yet eroded beach areas.

For more information, contact Bhaskar Subramanian with the Chesapeake & Coastal Service at 410-260-8786 or bsubramanian@dnr.state.md.us.

Click here for a video of the new jetty construction.  

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