Ithaca Hosts Cayuga Inlet Dredge Material Presentation (USA)

A program on results of research showing how Cayuga Inlet wetlands might be restored was presented yesterday by the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council.

“Cayuga Inlet Dredge Material: Opportunities for Restoring Ecosystem Functions and Services” took place at 7 to 9 p.m. yesterday in the Borg Warner Room of the Tompkins County Public Library, 101 E. Green St.

The presenters were Cornell University Associate Professor Tom Whitlow and the students in his fall semester Restoration Ecology course.

The presentation also included observation of the Baltimore Harbor dredging project, where the dredged material is being used to restore Poplar Island in the Chesapeake Bay. This island was 1,000 acres in the early 1800s, however it had shrunk due to erosion to three small parcels of less than 10 acres. Now it is 1,140 acres and expanding, consisting of half wetlands and half uplands with valuable wildlife habitat.

A display of aerial photographs and maps were made available for inspection during the program.

The Environmental Management Council has reviewed written records, aerial photographs and maps to determine the extent of wetland loss in the vicinity of the Cayuga Inlet during the past 200 years. Wetlands can reduce flooding and erosion, serve as a sedimentary trap, improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat. Wetlands have been lost during this period primarily because dredged material has been used to fill wetlands adjacent to the inlet and from increased land development in the Elmira Road-Taughannock Boulevard area flood plain.


Dredging Today Staff, December 1, 2011;