Prime Hook Restoration Project

Posted January 28, 2019

One of the largest marsh restoration projects ever attempted on the East Coast is finallyunderway. After years filled with studies, public hearings, research and permitting, workhas started on a $38 million project to replenish the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refugemarsh and beachfront.

Three dredges have started Phase 1 of the project to dig out channels to allow free flow ofwater from the Broadkill River in the south and Slaughter Canal and Prime Hook Creek inthe north. It's that water moving through the channels that will provide the foundation formarsh restoration. Dredging will be ongoing 16 hours a day, six days a week and takeabout a year.

The increased water exchange and flow will help lower the water level within the refuge byreducing the amount of water stacked in the existing refuge units. The exposed mudflatswill provide an area for marsh grass to grow. It's hoped that growth will occur naturally butaerial seeding is not out of the question, said Al Rizzo, project leader for the CoastalDelaware National Wildlife Refuge Complex.