State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012MD282B
Title: Ecohydrology of ditch-drained coastal marshes
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 9/ 1/2012
End Date: 8/30/2013
Congressional District: 111
Focus Categories: Hydrology, Wetlands, Ecology
Keywords: Tidal marsh, hydrology, ditches, creeks, plant communities, mosquitoes, restoration potential
Principal Investigators: Needelman, Brian (University of Maryland); Baldwin, Andrew (University of Maryland); Leisnham, Paul (University of Maryland)
Federal Funds: $ 26,140
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 52,846
Abstract: Historical ditching of coastal marshes may not reduce mosquito production but may cause habitat degradation. This project will be an intensive examination of the hydrologic and associated ecological processes operating within two ditch-drained coastal marshes in Maryland and two un-ditched reference marshes. Data will be collected on water table fluctuations, water quality (salinity, nitrogen, phosphorus, suspended sediments), porewater (salinity, sulfides), vegetation, and mosquitoes. The hydrology of the sites will be modeled using the Physically-based, Integrated model for Hydro-Ecological Assessments of Ditch networks (PINHEAD) and the Drain Interaction with Channel Hydrology (DITCH) model. We are collaborating with staff from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Department of Agriculture on this project, the primary local stakeholders of this research. Study results will be used to guide remediation strategies at the ditch-drained study sites to be implemented following the project period.

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