In order to fix Lock No. 3 in Georgetown, the C & O Canal was drained. Through the early part of this summer, that left the canal bed a dry and cracked layer of mud. But now it’s something entirely different.
What has emerged from the mud is a virtual savanna of grasses and other leafy plants. And despite the canal being drained, a natural stream of river water has emerged, winding its way through the new pasture. Sit along the canal now, and you can see the vibrant ecosystem that typifies natural wetlands.
Between the Key Bridge and Lock No 3, there’s approximately two acres of land that the canal comprises. It’s almost a shame that once the work is completed on the lock that this newly emergent ecosystem will be mowed down. It would be awfully ironic if the repair of the lock led people to decide that restoring the canal to functional use for a short tourist isn’t worth it anymore.