Constructing Resilient Wetlands at Poplar Island: A Comparative Case Study
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Sea level rise has been impacting coastal wetlands along the Chesapeake Bay since the last century. This report looks to evaluate the key lessons learned at Poplar Island in order to develop a plan for Eastern Neck Island’s diminishing wetlands. In the report, background information on Poplar Island and Eastern Neck Island was researched. It was concluded that the key lessons learned from Poplar Island were related to high marsh to low marsh ratio, elevation of high and low marshes, incorporation of ponds for increased species diversity, and inclusion of dikes. The report completes an in-depth analysis of each of those lessons and applies them to Eastern Neck Island. It was determined that a new high to low marsh ratio should be implemented so that the low marsh and high marsh have an even percentage of the area. A higher elevation of the marshes is needed to ensure low coastal erosion from rising tides. Ponds can be beneficial for species diversity; however, it is important to determine a pond area favorable to the wetlands to not increase erosion. Finally, dikes can be used to retain sediment and build accretion within the wetlands. This report incorporates many solutions to developing resilient wetlands which the developers of Eastern Neck Island restoration plan should include in their development plan.