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Potomac Shoreline Restoration Success Celebrated At Park

Piscataway Park

National Park News

At a press conference on Tuesday, October 12th, the National Park Service, the Alice Ferguson Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came together to celebrate the nearly completed restoration of 2,800 feet of the Potomac River shoreline in Piscataway Park.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded site saved not only an important part of the area’s ecosystem, but also local jobs, businesses and educational programs.

Director Jarvis, NCR Regional Director Peggy O’Dell, and others joined House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), to celebrate the success of the Potomac Shoreline Restoration Project.

Just a short time ago, this stretch of the Potomac River was eroding rapidly and was at risk for complete loss of shoreline, including an area of Native American burial grounds.  The area also has served as a local environmental education location as well as a former breeding ground for crab and fish. Piscataway Park’s “living shoreline” lies within visible range of the nation’s Capital, and now serves as a model of innovative solutions to a number of shoreline erosion, development and protection issues.

The foundation received funding through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to implement a $1.1 million shoreline restoration project in Piscataway Park, Prince George’s County, Maryland. Funding for the design phase of the project was provided through a partnership between the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, and NOAA.

“With partners including the Alice Ferguson Foundation, the National Capital Parks–East of the National Park Service, and NOAA, this project demonstrates the benefits of agencies and entities joining together to solve a problem and protect our nation’s heritage and habitat concurrently,” said Director Jarvis.  “Today is truly a celebration of partners, recovery, revitalization, and a glimpse at the future of coastal restoration.”

“Throughout the year, thousands of students come to AFF’s Hard Bargain Farm to participate in environmental education activities,” said Tracy Bowen, executive director of the Alice Ferguson Foundation.  “Nearly all of them visit Piscataway Park along the shoreline and across the wetlands. This restoration project allows them to continue to have access to the Bay for canoeing and other activities.”

“I am pleased to celebrate the completion of the Living Shoreline Project at Piscataway Park and want to thank the Alice Ferguson Foundation, the Park Service, NOAA, area residents and interested groups for their hard work and coordination on this project," said Congressman Hoyer (D-MD).  "The Living Shoreline Project is a true economic success story of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, directly impacting and sustaining 20 jobs here in Maryland and indirectly impacting many more through the local purchase of materials, goods, and services.”   

The $1.1 million ARRA project was one of only 50 selected from over 800 applications received by NOAA and features the use of new restoration technology.  The vegetated "living shoreline," using both structural and nonstructural techniques, was constructed on 2,800 feet of Potomac River shoreline.  The project design uses a combination of sills, headland breakwater spurs and marsh creations to not only provide shore protection, but to maintain and enhance and/or create wetlands habitat. 

"This project will help healthy, life-restoring water, fish, and wildlife return to the Potomac River's shores," said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator. "Through jobs built around restoring the environment, we can also help people and their families reconnect with the environment."


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