We are thrilled to announce that we have reached a major milestone in wetland restoration at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary! Launched in 2018, the Marsh and Prairie Restoration Project aims to reverse the spread of nuisance woody shrubs that have infested our freshwater wetlands. Audubon’s restoration approach uses three steps:
1) Mechanically mulching the woody vegetation just before the rainy season begins;
2) Treating non-native and other undesirable plants that were not drowned by marsh refill and trying to reestablish amongst the native grasses and wetland vegetation;
3) Reintroducing prescribed fire to manage and maintain these wetlands long-term.
We are now celebrating the completion of the first phase of restoration on more than 1,000 acres.
We are grateful to our staff, partners, and donors who have made this milestone possible. We now set our sights on continuing this ambitious effort. Audubon has identified several hundred more acres of marsh and prairie habitats invaded by Carolina willow, much of which we are targeting for restoration. We will continue to prioritize fundraising for this effort and aim to mulch about 200 acres per year, which carries a cost of $3,500 per acre.
This article appeared in the Winter 2022 Naturalist. Read the full magazine here.