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On a warm October day, the sun glistens on the still water. Poised among the spike rush is a statuesque Great Blue Heron, silently stalking. The only sound is the interminable hum of insects punctuated by the splash of a frog. Here on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, near the town of Chester, Maryland, is a modest ten acre wetland. What makes this wetland unusual isn’t the ducks or geese that stop here on their annual migrations, or the egrets and herons that hunt its waters for frogs and fish. What makes this wetland unique is the fact that just a few years ago, it did not exist.
Generations ago, the area was a wetland, but with the help of the federal and state agricultural agencies, farmers drained the land to plant crops. In 1992, however, the Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage restored the wetland, with the permission of the land owner, who voluntarily placed the land into a conservation easement.
This single restored wetland is not an isolated occurrence. At Barnstable Hill Farm, where the wetland is located, Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage (CWH) restored two other wetlands, and over the last five years, CWH has restored more than 100 acres of wetlands throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.