Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Coastal wetlands in Virginia represent a finite resource which is being
subjected to ever increasing development pressures. As a means of reducing
these losses while accomodating necessary economic development, the policy
of wetlands mitigation through compensation is increasingly being utilized
by both regulatory agencies and developers. This practice generally
involves the grading of an upland area to the appropriate elevation and
planting it with wetlands vegetation to replace a mar sh being lost in
another area.

The technology to plant and grow marsh vegetation for this and other
purposes has been well demonstrated . In as few as two growing seasons the
appearance and primary productivity can be very similar to natural marshes,
but the length of time necessary for them to become fully functional in an
ecological sense is unknown (Woodhouse et al, 1974) . This question remains
unanswered and the need still exists to conduct both short and long term
studies of planted marshes to evaluate their success at replacing the
wetlands resources being lost to development. These studies need to include
not only the plant community but also the physical environment and the utilization of these areas by invertebrates, fishes, birds, and mammals (Zedler, 1984).

In an effort to address some of these questions this portion of the study was designed to 1) compare the vegetative characteristics of a manmade marsh with those of similar natural marshes and 2) investigate the role of elevation and tidal inundation in the development of the marsh.



Wetlands -- Virginia -- Norfolk; Wetland conservation -- Virginia -- Norfolk