The Environment in Focus
1:20 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Burning a Protected Marshland to Stimulate Plant Growth

Art Canterbury starting fire in marsh on Blackwater Wildlife Refuge
Art Canterbury starting fire in marsh on Blackwater Wildlife Refuge

Every winter since the 1930's, federal wildlife managers have burned sections of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

This sounds questionable, from an environmental perspective, but an independent study found that burning the marsh grasses actually accelerates their growth in the spring.

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