Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area

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Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Photograph
Sandy dune and wetland in June, Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area. The plants growing on the sand include American beachgrass and Eastern cottonwood trees.
Map. Shows New York State and bordering regions of other states and of Ontario Province in Canada.
Map. Shows New York State and bordering regions of other states and of Ontario Province in Canada.
Deer Creek Marsh WMA
Location Oswego County, New York
Nearest city Oswego, New York
Coordinates 43°36′04″N 76°11′53″W / 43.601°N 76.198°W / 43.601; -76.198Coordinates: 43°36′04″N 76°11′53″W / 43.601°N 76.198°W / 43.601; -76.198
Area 1,195 acres (484 ha)
Established 1979
Visitors 6600[1] (in 2009)
Governing body N.Y. DEC

Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area is an 1,195-acre (484 ha) New York State Wildlife Management Area (WMA) with a 4,500-foot (1,400 m) sandy beach on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario; it is in the Town of Richland in Oswego County, New York. Deer Creek Marsh lies at the southern limit of a 17-mile-long (27 km) region of sandy barrier beaches that protect coastal lagoons and marshes; the region is unusual geologically and is important as habitat for many species.[2][3] Deer Creek Marsh WMA is part of the Eastern Lake Ontario Marshes Bird Conservation Area, along with Black Pond and Lakeview WMAs and the Sandy Pond Beach Unique Area.[4] Some of the hiking and boating opportunities in the WMA are described in a brochure and a website created through the New York Sea Grant.[5][6]

Until 1979, Deer Creek Marsh was divided into a number of privately held properties. The sand that underlies the region was being mined for construction and industrial purposes, and led to concern about the long-term conservation of the area.[7] Efforts by New York State to make conventional purchases of these properties for a WMA were unsuccessful, and in the end the land was obtained through a controversial use of eminent domain.[8]

Within the year, a project to restore the dunes commenced. Debris and unused buildings were removed. The project was partly a response to massive erosion in the region following April 1979 storms. A commission studying this erosion concluded that it was exacerbated by the degraded state of the native beachgrass and other plants along the dunes;[9] beachgrass in particular builds and stabilizes coastal sand dunes. Damaged stands of beachgrass were replanted following some experiments with differing varieties and cultivation methods. These experiments were apparently the foundation for the extensive beachgrass restoration that was subsequently undertaken along the entire length of the eastern Lake Ontario coastal dunes.

In 2007, Deer Creek Marsh WMA was designated as part of a New York Natural Heritage Area, the "Eastern Lake Ontario Barrier Beach and Wetland Complex".[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kuehn, Diane; Habig, Rachel (January 2010). "Monitoring Recreational Use in the Eastern Lake Ontario Dune and Wetland Area" (PDF).  See Table 4, p. 17.
  2. ^ Kautz, Maria (2008-01-18). "New Walkover at Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area Allows Visitors Access to Highly Sensitive Dunes". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Archived from the original on 2010-07-30. 
  3. ^ "Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area Map". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  4. ^ "Eastern Lake Ontario Marshes Bird Conservation Area". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  5. ^ "Deer Creek". Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. 
  6. ^ Earnest, Gillian; Kuehn, Diane; Thompson, Molly; Penney, Mary (2007). "Sand, Wind, & Water: A recreational guide to Eastern Lake Ontario's dunes and wetlands" (PDF). New York Sea Grant. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  7. ^ Trautwein, Breck; Dragonetti, John. "Mining as a Threat to New York's Deer Creek Marsh" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-27.  This report is undated; it presumably dates from the mid-1970s.
  8. ^ Padavano, Dan (1979-03-20). "State to Buy Ontario Beach: Eminent Domain Used on Deer Creek Marsh". The Syracuse Herald American. p. Metropolitan 17. 
  9. ^ "Saving of Dunes is Project Aim". The Syracuse Post-Standard. 1980-03-03. p. C-1 (N). 
  10. ^ Ross, Angelina. "Natural Heritage Area Designation for Eastern Lake Ontario Barrier Beach and Wetland Complex". New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Retrieved 2016-07-17.