Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island History
Over time, erosion reduced this once thriving island, the size of over 400 city blocks to a small outpost of only four acres. Following the necessary environmental studies the joint undertaking between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the MPA, along with politicians and community members, decided that rebuilding Poplar Island was not only possible, but that it would create over 1,000 acres of restored remote island habitat.
Starting in 2001, dredged material began arriving at Poplar Island and soon after, wildlife began to call the newly restored island home and established Poplar Island as an international model for the beneficial use of dredged material.
Dredged material is still received at Poplar Island which is a popular stopover site for migratory birds along the Mid-Atlantic flyway and provides a home to a wide variety of other wildlife.
Building the Future Together
Planning for the development of the restored land is underway by the Poplar Island Project team to consider the most desirable and achievable sub-habitats to include in the newly reclaimed land to attract more native species to the area. The project team is advised by the Poplar Island Working Group, composed of representatives of the Federal, state and local agencies, environmental groups, educational institutions and commercial entities with an interest in the success of the project.