Maintenance & Monitoring – GreenVest 2020 Retrospective

Maintenance & monitoring is an important aspect of GreenVest’s work, ensuring that all our sites continue their respective journeys to self-maintaining restored ecosystems. In addition to tracking each site’s performance, we actively inspect and maintain our sites—adaptively managing to proactively address each site’s unique needs.

Last year, our staff monitored and maintained 18 projects spanning the Mid-Atlantic region from Maryland to New Jersey. Notable ecosystem restoration benefits were achieved on a group of stream and wetland restoration projects for various agencies, including the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration.  These included some truly amazing wildlife habitat improvements for rare, threatened, and endangered species (RTE).

The bog turtle is federally listed as critically endangered through much of its range in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. One of our stream restoration sites hosts a previously unknown population of bog turtles and proceeded to restore and permanently preserve a large habitat on privately owned land. In coordination with the landowner, we were able to set aside additional land and implement a management program to enhance and preserve critical habitat for these turtles. GreenVest partnered with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, funding a tracking system to learn more about the movement of this population including usage of specific habitat elements to better manage their habitat and conserve this endangered species. This is a real success story for a lucky population of these illusive turtles.

Hatchling Bog Turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii), taken on-site in 2018.

Our Mattawoman Creek Mitigation Bank site contained poor and underutilized stream and riparian habitat for the threatened Selys’ Sundragon dragonfly. The design and implementation of this project minimized impact to existing habitat and maximized opportunities for this species, effectively re-establishing of habitat for these rare, predatory insects. GreenVest worked with DNR to implement a post construction monitoring program designed to document the habitat improvements for and usage by this species. In 2020, we documented four individual Selys’ Sundragons, in addition to other dragonfly species, using various elements of the restored stream and riparian habitat. Maryland represents the northern range of this species, where it has only been observed in four counties (Anne Arundel, Caroline, Charles, and Prince George’s). 

Sely’s Sundragon (Helocordulia selysii) taken during monitoring in 2020. Photo by Kevin Stohlgren, Coastal Resources, Inc.

After decades of yellow perch being absent from areas of the South River Drainage, our Bacon Ridge Branch Stream Restoration site re-established effective breeding habitat for the yellow perch by employing a beaver dam analogue approach on the mainstem and main tributaries to Bacon Ridge Branch. The yellow perch is an important species for conservation to ensure sustainable fisheries. Evidence of successful breeding activity was observed during the summer of 2020. Click here to watch a time lapse video showing how this innovative beaver dam analogue approach was implemented illustrating these incredible aquatic habitat improvements.

Photo of Yellow Perch (Perca flacenscens) eggs, taken in the main stem of Bacon Ridge Branch shortly after construction was completed in 2020.

Please contact us at action@greenvestus.com for more information about how we approach RTE wildlife habitat restoration or can meet your mitigation needs. 

Keep an eye out for next week: Credit Releases! Find last week’s post here: Construction Commencement, Advancement, & Completion.

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