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Lizard Hill Wetland Restoration

Located at 10652 Cemetery Rd, Bishopville.

This property is owned by State Highway Administration (SHA), Department of Natural Resources. It is limited to supervised volunteers after approval by SHA. Requests can be made through the MCBP; contact or call 410-213-2297 for inquiries.

In just 8 years since restoration efforts at Lizard Hill began, early forest succession stages are clearly visible throughout the property. During the winter of 2022-2023, MCBP developed a new trail that offers sights of the series of ponds and the wetland system that hosts an array of waterfowl. A small observation deck along the trail is planned for the Spring of 2023 to allow for a better viewing area of the restoration work and subsequent ecological characteristics of the property.

The Lizard Hill Wetland Project is a 20-acre wetland restoration effort. The site, an abandoned sand mine which required remediation, presented a special opportunity for an Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) restoration project. This evergreen species, and its associated community, was once very common along eastern flood plains but currently is very rare. The site was designed to act as a sand seepage wetland that drains to Buntings Branch, which in turn drains to the St. Martin River and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. Construction, costing $1.5 million, was completed in late 2011 and included the planting of 6,500 Atlantic white cedar trees.

Two water quality sampling stations were established to monitor surface water quality as it flows through the site. Physical measurements such as temperature and dissolved oxygen generally increase from upstream to the downstream station. Nitrogen removal improved as vegetation abundance increased up to over 26% removal. However, phosphorus removal varied widely from 25% removal to 40% retention.

Check out this video on the project

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Become a member of the Coastal Bays Foundation and donate online securely through PayPal. Your financial contribution will go toward protecting our watershed, its habitat, and wildlife. The Maryland Coastal Bays Program Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; all donations are tax deductible.