2014-06-26 / Nature

Gooseneck Cove Marshes Get Grass Restoration

By Jack Kelly


Scott Dickison and his students plant marsh grass to help restore the cove. Scott Dickison and his students plant marsh grass to help restore the cove. Among the hidden gems along Aquidneck Island’s coasts are the Gooseneck Cove salt marshes, located between Hazard Road and Ocean Drive, that just beg to be discovered and explored.

The Gooseneck Cove region is a highly productive habitat and serves a variety of purposes for mammals, birds, insects, amphibians and a vast array of marine life. These salt marshes serve as a buffer between the ocean and the land to slow down or even abate coastal flooding and land erosion. They also function as nurseries for numerous fish and crabs and a feeding area for birds and other wildlife.

It wasn’t always this way in this wetland system now teeming with life. For decades the area was neglected and abused, serving as a dumping ground for trash, household appliances, abandoned cars and other castoffs. Save The Bay targeted Gooseneck Cove for restoration in 1996 and the program developed into an innovative teaching opportunity as a living classroom and laboratory.

Scott Dickison, biology and horticulture teacher at Rogers High School, began his association with Gooseneck in 2004, teaching students how to take water quality samples, remove trash, and identify the flora, fauna, and marine life that reside in the marsh. This handson experience has allowed many young people to learn in ways that cannot be taught in a classroom.

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