The 40 acre Pickering Brook salt marsh was one many marshes on the Atlantic Coast that was ditched and drained in the 1930’s in an attempt to control mosquitoes. What resulted was the loss of semi-permanent open water on the marsh surface, critical for black ducks, wading birds, shorebirds, and fish. Prior to earth-moving activities DU, the University of New Hampshire and the NH Coastal Program and volunteers documented the degraded “health” of Pickering Brook marsh by examining fish and bird use, mosquito larvae abundance, and groundwater and salinity levels.
Restoration activities were designed to be completed in two phases over two years. In order to determine success, the “health” of the 2 phases will be compared (prior to and after each phase) to a nearby ditched salt marsh (with no restoration activities planned) to determine success.
Sections of the ditches are filled and semi-permanent open-water on the marsh surface is re-created with specialized wetland equipment (see photo). By increasing the amount of water available on the marsh surface, we will re-create essential open water habitat that will allow native salt marsh dependant species – waterfowl (such as black ducks and green-winged teal), fish, songbirds and shorebirds, etc., to return and increase in number. This restoration will also naturally manage the mosquito population and improve water quality.
Funds received from DU donors, the Fuller Foundation, the Town of Greenland, and from the sale of the Conservation License Plate (Moose Plate) under the NH State Conservation Committee (NH SCC) grant program combined with volunteer time, will match federal funds from the NH Coastal Program/NOAA partnership, the NH Estuary Project/Environmental Protection Agency partnership, and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to restore the Pickering Brook salt marsh to its former beauty and function.