There’s no place like home. Our #Neighbirds the saltmarsh sparrows rely on their namesake salt marshes and those marshes need our help. For centuries, the saltmarsh sparrow has timed its nesting with the tidal cycle, in a delicate dance to raise chicks in-between high tides. Due to sea-level rise, increased storm surge, and coastal infrastructure, saltmarsh sparrow nests and the surrounding marsh are flooding, and like the sparrow, some marshes are drowning. When water sits on the surface of the marsh for too long, sensitive marsh plants begin to die. As the plant roots die, the peat of the marsh gets washed away.
To help the sparrow, the marshes, and the coastal communities that rely on them for storm protection, the Service and partners are working to restore tidal marshes using innovative techniques. One technique, called runneling, involves digging a shallow channel to help drain standing water off the marsh to allow plants to thrive. The peat that is dug out is used to make mounds of sediment, which over time recolonize with plants and give the sparrows higher real estate to nest in.
These sparrow high rises at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Complexcovered in grasses favored by the sparrow, but we haven’t seen any nesting there just yet.
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