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YEAR 2008 - CRP Project #7001 (Gulf of Mexico)

Project #7001
Helen Wood Park
Wetlands Restoration Project

Mobile, Alabama

Project name:   Helen Wood Park Wetlands Restoration  
Project number:   7001  
Project status:   In Progress  
Grant Administrator:   Gulf of Mexico Foundation (for NOAA)  
Grantee:   Mobile Bay National Estuary Program  
Project location:   Dauphin Island Parkway, Mobile, Alabama  
Grant period:   Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2020  
Grant amount:   $38,550  
Land Ownership:   Public  
Lat/Long:   30 34 09 N, 88 05 11 W  
Types of Habitat:   Salt Marsh  
Project leader:   Roberta Arena Swann
Deputy Director
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
4172 Commanders Drive, Mobile, AL 36615
Park before restoration
BEFORE - Park before recent improvements
Park after restoration - click to enlarge
AFTER - Park after recent improvements

Species Benefiting From Restoration:
   Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus)
   Great Blue Heron
   White-crowned Night Heron
   Black Needle Rush (Juncas romerianus)
   Smooth Cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora)
   Salt Meadow Cordgrass (Spartina patens)

Acres of Habitat To be Restored:
Approximate 3.5 acres

Project Summary:
Helen Wood Park is a triangular eight-acre tract immediately to the north and east of Dog River Bridge. The property occupies part of a low, flat, wet salt marsh peninsula bordered by Dog River to the west and south and by Mobile Bay to the east. This project will involve the restoration of the wetlands located along the western/northwestern side of developed area of Helen Wood Park. These wetlands receive tidal flows directly from Mobile Bay through two small tidal guts and from Dog River through a culvert under Dauphin Island Parkway which connects to a tidal creek on the west side of the parkway. The area is approximately 3.5 acres in size and is heavily infested with Phragmites with some Chinese Tallow Trees. The project will involve three phases: removing existing invasive species, reducing the elevation of the area, and replanting of native species.

The first phase will take place during the first two months of 2008 and will involve a prescribed burning of the entire wetlands at the site. During spring of 2008, the area will be monitored for Phragmite re-sprouting and any re-infestation will be treated with a glyphosate-based herbicide approved for use in wetland areas. This monitoring/treatment will continue throughout the rest of the year.

Phase two will involve excavation of areas of higher elevation along the shore of the 3.5 acre site, lowering these areas six to eight inches to allow flooding during high tides. This was left out of the pre-proposal because of ongoing discussion of whether or not it was needed. A recent site survey of the area prepared by Fred Nation, a local environmental consultant concluded that the elevation and hydrologic changes to this area are the principal reasons for Phragmite infestation.

Phase Three of this project will occur during fall, 2008 and include a volunteer planting using the Mobile County Grasses to Classes program volunteers and plants. In addition volunteer recruitment of native species from adjacent areas may take place and neighborhood grassroots organizations will be recruited to assist with planting the site and installing educational signage throughout the area on salt marshes and their importance.

Project Objectives:

  • Control invasive species and re-establish native vegetation
  • Improve security at the park
  • Improve education & outreach efforts through community involvement and signage

Community Involvement:
Volunteers, including local high school students and community volunteers, will be used to help with planting native vegetation and installing signage. Educational Signage placed at the site will provide park users with information on native species of flora and fauna and the importance of coastal marshes.

Click on photo to enlarge

Burm formation - click to enlarge
Burm formation on project site

Aerial photo - click to enlarge
Aerial photo of project site

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NOAA Restoration Center

Gulf of Mexico Foundation

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Mobile Bay national Estuary Program (MBNEP)

The City of Mobile

Coastal Alabama Clean Water Partnership

Alabama Coastal Foundation

Gulf of Mexico Foundation - PMB 51, 5403 Everhart - Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(800) 884-4175 toll free - (361) 882-3939 phone - (361) 882-1262 fax
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