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Renovated Rehab

Animal sanctuary gets Bay-friendly upgrade

Lindsay Lohan or Amanda Bynes won’t be making cameos at Davidsonville’s upgraded rehab. This rehab — Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary — helps rehabilitate geese, ducks, frogs, beavers, deer, turtles and migratory birds.
    The sanctuary — where injured wild creatures from emus to geese are rehabilitated — turned to the South River Federation to make a pond on the edge of the property more Bay friendly.
    The Federation specializes in finding money to clean up pollution problems in its watershed.
    The pond had one of the highest bacteria counts in the Bay watershed. To fix it, the South River Federation assembled $85,000 in grants from three sources, one private, Constellation Energy, and two public, the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
    The big job was getting the cash and permits. That took four years — two for funding and two more for permits. Building the restored buffer was the easy part, taking only six weeks, according to Kirk Mantay, the restoration project manager.
    A dam made of rocks, sand and wood chips filters the water as it travels thru the pond. Native trees now surround the pond, benefiting the creatures that call the pond home and helping stop sediment. A fence keeps bigger animals — and animal waste — from going downhill into the pond.
    The pond has seen lower bacteria numbers since the overhaul, which means a cleaner Bay.
    “We’re hoping that the stormwater tax will pay for future restorations like this,” says Mantay, referring to the funding structure created by the General Assembly to help keep this kind of pollution out of the Bay. “These wetland restorations are one of the most effective ways to clean up the Bay.”