Rare Coastal Habitat Restoration: Updated 2016
In 2015 RCCD completed its sixth year of habitat restoration at Odiorne Point State Park. This year, RCCD focused on a soil acidification study to return soil to historic pH levels in order to make the habitat more favorable to native species. Follow up invasive work at restoration plots also occurred. This phase was funded through the NH State Conservation Committe and the sale of Conservation Moose Plates. The RCCD has recently been awarded a 50,000 grant from NH Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program in order to expand restoration efforts in the park to 11 new acres in 2016. Odirone Point State Park includes some of New Hampshire’s rarest native ecosystems such as coastal pitch pine forest, sand dunes, salt marshes, and barrier marshes. These habitats have become degraded over time due to past disturbances and human impacts that have promoted infestation by invasive species. This effort will not only have environmental benefits, but is expected to improve the quality of the park for recreation, aesthetics, education, and safety. Check out the information below for more details on our current projects!
Innovative Approach to Restoration!
In 2015, RCCD began a study on the effect of soil acidification on native and non-native seedling regeneration, particularly within areas dominated by Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). Oriental bittersweet is a climbing and sprawling vine that uses woody shrubs and trees for structural support. This invasive plant has the ability shade out native plants by forming impenetrable thickets and girdle its support vegetation, cutting off nutrient flow, that can ultimately kill the plant. Oriental bittersweet is thought to have the ability to alter ecosystems to their benefit, by raising soil pH to their preference. Vegetative indicators at Odiorne Point show evidence that soil was relatively acidic in the past and has become less so over time. As part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to habitat restoration, RCCD using aluminum sulfate as a soil amendment, attempts to acidify the soil to its historical condition. Over the next several years, data will be collected to determine if these unfavorable conditions are detrimental to oriental bittersweet seed regeneration and beneficial to the restoration of native vegetation. This project offers the potential for an innovative method of vegetation management to reduce herbicide use, thus reducing overall economic and environmental costs.
Mowing down those Invasives:
Through 2015 and 2016 RCCD has taken part in overseeing the mowing of sections of the park that are too dense with invasive plant species to successfully infiltrate using other means. Most recently, Department of Recreation and Economic Division (DRED) and Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food (DAMF) teamed up to take on five acres of unruly invasive vegetation.
Photos of RCCD’s previous restoration efforts!
Click on the link below to view a map areas of Odiorne Point State Park under current restoration 2016. Odi Active Restoration 2016
Click the link below to learn more about the work done at Odiorne Point State Park 2009-2012
Storm tides affect the salinity and vegetation in the Coastal Salt Pond through over-wash and seepage through the cobble berm.
Storm Tides 2012-2013