The National Park Service is starting a $500,000 probe to find ways to improve and maintain the Dyke Marsh in Alexandria, Va., it was reported Saturday.
The 485-acre wetlands, which house snakes, turtles, swans and many other species of wildlife, have been plagued with litter, The Washington Post reported.
The probe reportedly was approved by Congress last year as part of an attempt to stop erosion caused by human activity.
The impacts of fishing, boating, kayaking and other activities may be studied, the Post report said.
Almost 50 percent of the marsh was ruined in the 1960s by commercial digging and construction waste being unloaded into it.
"We have so little. We feel a responsibility to what is left," Friends of Dyke Marsh President Glenda C. Booth said.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International