Parsons Creek Salt Marsh Restoration

Case Name:


United States of America

Restoration Types:

Habitat Enhancement


Affected DOI Resources:

Migratory Birds





Project Description

The Parsons Creek Salt Marsh is a 151-acre marsh complex in Rye, New Hampshire. Several inadequate culverts restricted tidal flow throughout the marsh, decreasing the salinity. This allowed invasive species, including Phragmites and cattails, to colonize large areas of the marsh. Restoration efforts began during the fall and winter of 1997-98 when twin 6 x 12-foot box culverts were installed under Wallis Road to replace a smaller culvert that had been one of the main obstructions to tidal flow in the marsh. In 1998, a 5 x 7-foot culvert was installed under Marsh Road to replace an 18-inch metal culvert that was no longer functioning, blocking almost all of the tidal flow to four acres of marsh upstream that had been invaded by narrow-leaf cattails. In April 1999, a 5 x 7-foot culvert was installed under Ocean Boulevard (Route 1A) south of Wallis Sands State Park to replace an 18-inch concrete pipe culvert. The replacement of this culvert greatly increased tidal flow to the degraded marsh just south of the Wallis Sands parking lot. Also in the spring of 1999, a culvert under Ocean Boulevard was replaced with a bridge at the mouth of Parsons Creek. This re-established tidal flow and reduced flooding to the properties adjacent to the marsh. Post-project monitoring has shown that the natural vegetation returned and the marsh has stabilized after tidal flow had been restored to the marsh complex.

Restoration Land Ownership

County or Municipal

Parties Implementing Restoration

Natural Resource Conservation Service; New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service

DOI Project Representatives

Fish and Wildlife Service

Sign describing the Parsons Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project in Rye, New Hampshire., Credit: USFWS

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Restoration Documents

Document NameDocument Date
No records to display.

Map View


New England Ecological Services Field Office

Concord, NH | (603) 223-2541 |

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