The waterfowl, fish and, other species that inhabit the South Sodus coastal wetlands depend on a diverse system, where dominant vegetation is interspersed with open water areas. However, during the past several decades, these emergent marshes have increasingly become dominated by invasive cattails. As a result, northern pike have been excluded from optimal spawning habitat and vital nesting habitat for birds has been lost. The Nature Conservancy will achieve three key outcomes through this project. First, it will improve access and create new habitat for wetland spawning fish, waterfowl, and marsh nesting birds by creating two acres of backwater potholes and enhancing over 115 acres of coastal wetland through invasive species control. Second, it will restore wetland function by reconnecting 1,500 linear feet of channel to its floodplain. Third, 10 road stream/crossings will be evaluated to assess their impact to upstream fish passage. The project will also evaluate project success by monitoring fish spawning, avian abundance, and vegetation response. This work will ultimately provide the structural heterogenity and hydrological conditions required to increase the access and quality of critical fish spawning and bird nesting habitat.
Southern Sodus Wetlands in Wayne County, New York