Restoration of Construction Impacted Salt Marshes

Focus Area

Water Quality/Wetlands


Natural Resources






2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

The University of Georgia, in cooperation with Georgia DOT, has developed a PROPOSED construction standard for use by DOT contractors to better restore the geotechnical properties and ecological functionality of salt marshes that have been impacted by construction and maintenance of coastal transportation infrastructure. The objective of the proposed research is to field verify the feasibility, constructability, and efficacy of this proposed construction standard. DOTs in neighboring states have expressed interest in the testing and refinement of this construction standard as it relates to similar impacts in their jurisdictions. Specific tasks include testing the practicability of the construction standard on impacted salt marsh sites, refining the specification of locally sourced materials to be incorporated, testing means and methods for material handling, mixing, placement, and compaction, and development of remote monitoring systems to quantify the growth and recolonization of target marsh species.

Urgency and Payoff

This study and resulting construction standard will provide guidance to DOT contractors working in coastal salt marshes for efficient and cost effective restoration of prior physical conditions in these environmentally sensitive areas. This work will help reduce the time required for re-establishing vegetative cover after construction activity, restore impaired ecological function, and improve the long-term geotechnical stability of impacted rights-of-way; thereby reducing the cumulative cost and effort required to maintain roadway infrastructure located in and adjacent to coastal marshes and estuaries.

Suggested By

David Hedeen Georgia Dept of Transportation 404-631-1419

[email protected]