Reclamation and Wetland Construction - Curles Neck Sand and Gravel

Project Summary

Resource was retained by a national sand and gravel facility to assist with the eco-friendly reclamation of their former pit mines to create palustrine wetlands. These mine pits, reclaimed as ponds play host to a myriad of migratory bird species, amphibians and invertebrates. As state conservation efforts are on the rise to save suitable habitats for the many rare, indigenous and migratory species, reclamation projects like these in Virginia are an environmentally responsible (and often required) [1] method for closure.

In addition to benefitting the native plant and animal species inhabiting these newly constructed environments, reclamation projects are also benefiting the water quality of the James River and the Chesapeake Bay as well.

Strategy and Services

Before constructing the wetland, investigations were conducted to identify local and migratory avian species present in the area throughout the year.

Resource services included:

  • Waters of the U.S. Delineation
  • Virginia Water Protection Permitting
  • Topographic Survey (6-inch contours)
  • Groundwater modelling (Shallow Groundwater monitoring, water budget development
  • Compensatory Mitigation Design, Construction Management, and Year End Monitoring

Planting of species-specific forage to sustain diverse populations of indigenous and migratory birds, and specifically waterfowl, was prioritized when creating the wetlands.


The project took one year to design and permit. Approximately four weeks were needed to grade and plant the constructed wetland fringe.  The project created a 9.47-acre pond surrounded by 3.59 acres of emergent and shrub/scrub wetlands’

It provided the quarry with approximately one year of increased site life and the ability to more appropriately reclaim the site and gave the scientific community the opportunity to observe a created wetland as it develops and evolves over time. In 2006, this created wetland won the IMCC Reclamation Award.
The Resource environmental team conducted the yearly environmental monitoring program that is demonstrating the success of the wetland in terms of hydrophytic vegetation, hydrology sustainability and the development of hydric soils.