In the 1800s, Poplar Island in Chesapeake Bay comprised over 1,000 acres. By the early 1900s, the island had split into three separate land masses. By 1990, the total area had been reduced to just 10 acres.
The island, home to abundant wildlife and once a popular weekend retreat for Washington’s elites, might have vanished entirely if not for a large-scale restoration project led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1998.
According to NASA, the project uses dredged mud from Baltimore Harbor and Chesapeake Bay shipping lanes to fill in dikes built around sections of the island:
Poplar Island now has an area of 1,140 acres and may continue to expand by another 500 acres before the restoration is completed in 2027. Upon completion, Poplar Island will be half wetlands and half uplands covered by forest. The restoration project is expected to cost $667 million, says the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
The image on the far right shows the rebuilding of the island:
Photo: NASA’s Earth Observatory
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