Another technique used to create habitat for seabirds is to place floating structures with suitable nesting substrate on it. The DGIF is creating more than one acre of additional nesting habitat by leasing flat-top spud barges and anchoring them in the embayment between South Island and Rip Raps Island. The surface edges of the barges will have a barrier around them to prevent young chicks from running off of the edge.
The tasks to be completed include:
- Securing permission to anchor the barges from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Completing a procurement process to lease barges, from May 1 through September 15, that the contractor will place and load up with sand and gravel
- Expanding social attraction work to include the barge habitat using the same methods and the same species of decoys and audio lures
This work is scheduled to be completed by May 1.