Dyke Marsh: Hammerschlag
I've been with the Park Service for about four years. The Park Service, as a national organization, is divided into ten regions and the basic purpose is to preserve outstanding natural resources and at the same time to make sure that the resources are perpetuated so that they will be there for the following generations to enjoy and to utilize. We're talking here about an urban area and what you find mostly is a loss or decrease in even the typical wildlife. Sure, there are some beavers that are invading the C and O Canal. There are the water fowl, which have become limited simply because most of the marshes are gone. Rock Creek Valley is becoming more utilized than it used to, because that particular stream is improving.
As you go up the Potomac, away from the estuary water, the fishing improves, because the Potomac is being cleaned up. They're catching bass, and fishing is improving above the estuary. The people walk around the point here (Haines Pt.) and they catch all occasional carp or catfish. They will catch perch during the spring runs. You don't have the nice shorelines. You don't have the tree lined bank. You don't have any of that kind of fishing anymore. You're fishing off a railing or off a rip-rap bank or that kind of thing.
There used to be a lot in Dyke Marsh that is just not there anymore. You could bring it back maybe, but it is just not there now. Dyke Marsh is a remaining wetland area. We have lost about half of it and there's still the strong erosional influences in the deeper off-water areas where it was dredged out. We seem to be having a severe problem all along this Potomac estuary from the shoreline. I am not really sure what it is due to, perhaps partially boating and increased wave action, but there is, as there has been in the past 200 years, a very strong depression of the shoreline throughout the area.