Woody Invaders March Across Sensitive Freshwater Wetlands
The Corkscrew’s marshes and prairies are under siege. A plague of thirsty woody invaders marches across our freshwater wetlands. These marshes and prairies were once dominated by diverse grasses and sedges that provided habitat for a host of wildlife; from the tiny least killifish to the threatened wood stork. The main culprit is Carolina willow, spreading because of altered seasonal water conditions, or hydrology, and a lack of fire. Audubon aims to restore these vital wetlands and we need your help.
Being a part of the effort to transform a landscape is a moving experience. I feel tremendous joy watching the deer browse on the emerging carpet of native grasses freed from the shade of dense willow in our restored marshes. That feeling grows as water levels rise and fall and the flocks of wading birds and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks arrive at the replenished wetland buffet. The impact is tangible, obvious and significant. -Jason Lauritsen, Sanctuary Director
Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a wetland of international importance and part of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. It once hosted the largest colony of nesting wood storks in the country. Wood storks are indicators of the health of the natural ecosystem, and their decline signals widespread problems. In addition to direct habitat loss, the decline of remaining wetlands also threatens this species at risk. Reclaiming our diverse native marshes and wet prairies from the invasion willow is an important part of the solution.
Now that we’ve established a proven method, we are ramping up our efforts towards an ambitious 5-year goal of restoring 1,000 acres of marsh and prairie by 2021.
It costs approximately $2,000 to restore an acre of invaded marsh or prairie. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have begun addressing this sizable task.
With your generous support, we can restore our marsh and prairie to transform into the diverse, productive, and healthy herbaceous wetlands capable of supporting a host of species including Wood Storks and Roseate Spoonbills.
For more information, click here for our Marsh and Prairie Restoration Report.