Teal, J.M. and L. Weishar
Salt hay marshes were diked and farmed for over 50 years, reducing marsh plain elevations, obliterating many tidal channels, keeping fish out of the marsh, and encouraging invasion of Phragmites. Restoration involved setting restoration goals, careful planning, recreating major tidal channels, and opening the dikes. Ecological engineering, allowing nature to self-design, was used to create the smaller tidal channels, re-introduce fish, and adjust the elevation of the marsh plain and revegetate it. Adaptive management, specified in regulatory requirements, was used to monitor the restoration to ensure that design goals were met. Adaptive management and restoration management, less constrained by regulatory requirements but an equally intense process, were carried out by a small team of ecologists, engineers, and regulators. Ecological engineering, adaptive management, and restoration management were used to restore the structure and function of degraded salt marshes and were essential to the success of the Delaware Bay wetland restorations.