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Restoration of Coastal Wetlands in the St. Lawrence River Through Re-establishment of Natural Hydrologic Regimes

Year Awarded: 1999
Awarded: $222,000
Team Leader:  State University of New York

This team designed and installed permanent water control structures to restore seasonal hydrological cycles to coastal wetlands. The team used flashboards to block culverts and ditches and prevent the artificial draw-down of water in the coastal marshes. The result mimics the historical hydrological regimes at five wetland sites where small rivers and streams drain into Lake Ontario or the upper St. Lawrence River.

The team mapped historical vegetation patterns to help evaluate ecological improvements. Data suggested positive responses to flooding would include increased plant diversity, fish reproduction, and bird use. Landowners signed 10-year agreements through the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Partners for Wildlife Program and public interaction with team members helped to build local and regional support for these water management programs.