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Scuffletown Creek Project Marks Completion
September 20, 2010

According to information available from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District, freshly planted salt marsh cordgrass and salt marsh bushes grow along the shores of Scuffletown Creek here, where construction debris once choked out these native species of plants.

Newly planted salt marsh cordgrass grows where construction debris once littered the shoreline of Scuffletown Creek choking out the natural wetlands on August 4th, 2010. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District and the City of Chesapeake, Va., restored about one acre of natural wetlands along Scuffletown Creek, a tributary of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, Va., in an effort to bring the river system back to a healthy thriving waterway after centuries of industrial activity impaired it. (U.S. Army Photo/Patrick Bloodgood)

Thanks to a partnership between the Norfolk District and the City of Chesapeake, and funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, nearly one-acre parcel of land has returned to its natural, historical state.

Since World War II, development along the Elizabeth River has taken a toll on wetlands, as natural sites became dumping grounds for construction debris, were paved over or replaced by retaining walls.

Though the long term impacts of the restored wetlands won’t be noticed for a couple of years, citizens frequenting the area will notice an immediate change. “Instead of rebar and a bunch of concrete exposed on the shoreline and perhaps the unsightliness of invasive scrub vegetation growing there before, citizens will see a naturalized shoreline instead of something that looks industrial or commercial,” said David Mergen, an environmental scientist with the City of Chesapeake’s Public Works Department.

Aesthetics aside, the Scuffletown Creek project marks the completion of the first of several environmental restoration initiatives in the Elizabeth River Basin by the Norfolk District in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach.

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