Poplar Island: Success on the Chesapeake Bay

The New Poplar Island

Poplar Island, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is one of the rare environmental success stories in the Chesapeake Bay–and perhaps the most spectacular. Big enough to support farms and a town in the 1800s, it had eroded to less than three acres and was functionally gone by the 1980s. An extremely effective cooperative effort by federal, state and local governments has rebuilt the island to its 1800s footprint using clean dredge spoil from the bay’s approach channels to Baltimore–keeping the city’s docks (and jobs) open to shipping, while recreating a critical nature reserve for rare and threatened Chesapeake Bay wildlife.

The story of Poplar Island is in the July 2012 issue of Soundings.

Click here for a NASA/Landsat satellite timelapse of the island being built.

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