A new partnership between Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society (CES), the Chester River Association (CRA), and Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy will improve the health of the Chester River and local waterways while restoring native habitat for the threatened Northern Bobwhite Quail, the only native resident quail in Maryland.
The first phase of this Natural Lands Project is funded by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources through its Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund after a competitive grant process. The Natural Lands Project was one of only 14 that were awarded funding.
Focusing on marginal farmland (less productive acres on the edge of a field or in a former wetland), it will restore wetlands and install buffer zones of warm-season grasses on privately-owned farms on or near the Chester River in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.
CES Assistant Director Michael Hardesty, who administers the Natural Lands Project, says the buffer zones will be at least 100 feet deep, which is large enough to help protect quail from predators and to filter out up to 85 percent of the phosphorus and nitrogen from agricultural runoff.
Wetland restoration might begin as soon as September, while planting the shore buffers will begin in spring 2016.
For more information, visit www.washcoll.edu/centers/ces or www.ChesterRiverAssociation.org
source: Chester River Association