Skip to main content
Start of main content

Cedar Island Marsh Creation

How do you protect a rapidly eroding barrier island, using only natural and nature-based solutions?

  • 200+

    Acres of Marsh

  • 500K

    Cubic Yards of Sand

  • Accomack County, Virginia

    Accomack County, Virginia

We collaborated with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on a novel approach to barrier island stabilisation

Cedar Island is one of the most low-lying, dynamic, and rapidly eroding islands along the Virginia barrier-island chain. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s (VIMS) ultimate goal was to enhance the resiliency of Cedar Island, a protected habitat, as well as the Town of Wachapreague located nearby, which would benefit from the barrier island’s protection. VIMS led our collaborative team—a group of Stantec consultants alongside experts from multiple universities—to develop recommendations for a marsh along the bayside of the island. They wanted to provide a platform that would enable the island to stabilise and grow laterally and vertically, while it continues to undergo natural barrier island migration.

The preliminary plans and specifications proposed over 200 acres (80 hectares) of high and low marsh which would be planted with native, desirable marsh grasses. The result will lead to a complete, contiguous back barrier marsh habitat for southern Cedar Island that allows for natural barrier island rollover and enhanced resilience against storm events and continued sea level rise.

Hydrodynamic modeling of the proposed marsh is currently underway to demonstrate its expected performance, including better definition of the protection it would provide to the mainland. The results of the modeling and design will be used by project partners to solidify stakeholder support and secure funding for final implementation.

At a Glance

  • Randolph Macon College
  • George Mason University
  • VIMS
National Coastal Resilience Grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Competitive State Wildlife Grant (C-SWG) through the Fish and Wildlife Service

We’re better together

  • Become a client

    Partner with us today to change how tomorrow looks. You’re exactly what’s needed to help us make it happen in your community.

  • Design your career

    Work with passionate people who are experts in their field. Our teams love what they do and are driven by how their work makes an impact on the communities they serve.

End of main content
To top