Wetland Enhancement

The construction of the large dikes and the subsequent filling of Lake Hartwell in the late 1950's resulted in a perched wetland. This wetland was largely formed due to the lack of sufficient drainage and beaver activity in a large area between the dike and Hunnicutt Creek. With the wetland being in an early successional stage containing mostly bedstraw species (Galium sp.) and hazel alder (Alnus serrulata), it was thought the area would be a prime candidate for enhancement into a bottomland hardwood fores. Through methods of hydraulic modification, planting of woody vegetation consisting of trees and shrubs, the stabilization of existing outlets, and the establishment of a 50-foot buffer around the perimeter, a quick but defining enhancement of the wetland was conceivable. Although challenged by space, the planting of 150-300 stems per acre was predicted to have a 75% survival rate in five years resulting in the start of a maturing oak and hickory hardwood forest.