Sunken Meadow Restoration

Volunteers at the Sunken Meadow planting in June 2016.

Sunken Meadow State Park includes tidal marshes, estuaries, dunes, coastal forest, and three miles of Long Island Sound beachfront. For decades, an earthen berm blocked tidal flow from over 100 acres of marsh, causing the marsh habitat and water quality to deteriorate.

In 2008, Save the Sound and partner organizations began an ambitious restoration plan to address the problem, including:

* barrier removal of the earthen berm to restore tidal reconnection to marsh habitat;
* retrofitting an 18-acre parking lot with green infrastructure techniques;
* restoring 3.5 acres of salt marsh, aided by volunteer planting of the area with native plants;
* an analysis of fish-passage potential in Sunken Meadow Creek;
* and a multi-year outreach/education program for the 2+ million annual Park visitors

The Sunken Meadow project makes the park’s shoreline more resilient to waves and flooding, improves water quality in Sunken Meadow Creek and the Nissequogue River by reducing runoff from parking lots, and restores habitat for fish and wildlife.

Learn more about the project’s goals: Part 1, Part 2

See how volunteers have braved the mud and sun to restore acres of salt marsh in 2015 and 2016, and how the education program is reaching park visitors.

Want to join in? Visit our Volunteering page to learn more.

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