Lizard Hill Wetland Restoration
Before image.Size: 30 Acres
MCBP Initial Cost: $0
Total Cost: $1,100,000 (State Highway Admin $1,100,000, MCBP Yearly Cost $0)
Partners: State Highway Administration, Department of Natural Resources
MCBP Role: Restoration, Monitoring
Public Use: Limited to supervised volunteers after approval by State Highway Administration
Purpose/Benefit: By reclaiming a sand mine through the creation of an Atlantic White Cedar community, this SHA property will reintroduce a once very common ecological community which is now virtually non-existent in Maryland, while also reducing nutrient inputs into the St. Martin River.
Objective: Establish a 30-acre Atlantic white cedar acidophile wetland to reintroduce a historic coastal habitat type and reduce nitrogen inputs into St. Martin River.
The Future: This site is considered an important restoration project for the water-shed, and may be used as an outreach tool to garner local community support. Habitat restoration and monitoring will continue on the site. Developing environmental education, and a "Friends of" group for this site, is being considered.
Conservation Impact: Atlantic white cedar have been nearly eliminated from the Maryland Coastal Bays water-shed. By re-establishing this type of habitat, the futures of other local endangered species such as pitcher plants, swamp pink, and Hessel’s hairstreak butterfly will improve.
An unnamed tributary running along the north side of the project drains almost 500 acres of agricultural area. Through monitoring over the past few years, this creek has been found to have consistently high levels of nitrogen. Diverting a portion of this ditched stream into the wetland will provide an excellent opportunity to significantly reduce nitrogen loads currently entering St. Martin River. Recent water quality data analysis confirms that water leaving the project site carries less nitrogen and phosphorus than that entering.
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Top left: Agricultural area drained by Lizard Hill; top right: Hessel's hairstreak butterfly occurs only in Atlantic white cedar forests;
bottom left: Swamp Pink; bottom right: Sundew, an uncommon carnivorous plant, can be found on this site.