Taking the Tour of Poplar Island
Earlier this week we were able to join the FREE trip to Poplar Island. You get the vessel "Terrapin" located in Tilghman and make the short run to the now man made Island for a bus tour. The tour guides are very informative as they show you how the island is now getting rebuilt in the same size as it had been before man's impact to its shores. They explain that the island was constructed like a jigsaw puzzle. They first put out the edges with shield stone then have been filling the island in with dredge material from the Bay. Don't call that material "spoils"....seems that hurts their feelings as they think that has a negative sound. They do NOT take dredging from the harbors but only from the open bay waters. It seems they need to keep the channels dredged to 50 feet and they need to do something with the material so they view this as a win/win where they do not dispose of the dredge material in open water and it is making a wild life habitat in the process.
The island has many inlets that permit bay water to come into wetland style "cells" for low land type habitat. They will also have high woodland habitat. They explained how they deposit the material in a slurry form through large pipes. The water drains away and then they have "crust management" where the solids are then dried and are able to be moved around and fashioned into an island.
It was a fun morning (9-12) The proverbial 3 hour tour. We did see many old metal barges sunk in the island that had been an attempt to hold the shore years ago. Since these would have been impossible to move, they are still there. The wildlife is there. The big machinery is there. The tide comes in and out.
Funding...comes from Port dollars and tax moneys. Value of the ports for Maryland...billions.
Check it out sometime.