Restoration of the Wormsloe Plantation salt marsh in Savannah, Georgia
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The Diamond Causeway was constructed across the Isle of Hope in 1972 to provide road access from Savannah, Georgia to Skidaway Island. The area on the Isle of Hope intersected by the road was originally salt marsh dominated by Spartina alterniflora. The road was constructed across the marsh on dredge materials resulting in a hydrologic barrier and a bisection of the marsh. Excess dredge material was deposited within the marsh north of the Causeway, resulting in upland hammocks. The remaining marsh has converted from low marsh to high marsh with many barren and thinly vegetated salt flats. Recent plans to widen the Causeway have presented an opportunity to restore the functional and physical parameters of a healthy salt marsh community. This restoration will be accomplished by installing a series of culverts under the widened Causeway, removing the fill material north of the Causeway, restoring tidal channels, and installing transplants of Spartina alterniflora. The plans include culvert design, tidal channel design, and grading design based upon tidal data collected with automated data loggers, existing elevations and tidal channels from an adjacent reference marsh, and estimated elevations of buried marsh remnants. We will present these data and designs as a work in progress.