Woodward (on left) and Mona
The 156.7-acre (63.4 ha) Mona Bay/Woodward Bay Set-Aside is an isolated assemblage of three Carolina bays (temporary ponds), surrounded primarily by a buffer area of recently established and maturing pine plantations. The paired Mona and Woodward Bays are relatively intact bays with shallow water depths, dominated by open herbaceous vegetation. Mona Bay is 27.9 acres (11.3 ha) in size and rivals Ellenton Bay (Area #1) as the second largest intact bay on the SRS (only a portion of Craig’s Pond, Area #17, is on SRS property). Woodward Bay, adjacent to Mona Bay on the west, is 17.3 acres (7.0 ha) and exhibits a shorter hydroperiod than Mona Bay; it is the shallowest of all the herbaceous Set-Aside bays. A third bay, Bay #65, is a remnant bay depression which lies to the northeast of Mona Bay. The hydrology of Bay #65 has been altered severely by historical ditching and recent reforestation activity to the point that it ceases to function as a wetland.
This Set-Aside Area represents a paired assemblage of relatively intact Carolina bays which are temporary rather than semi-permanent wetland pond communities. This Set-Aside also includes a bay that is a candidate for future restoration (Bay #65). Like the paired Craig’s Pond and Sarracenia Bay, located approximately 1 mile (0.6 km) south of this Area, Mona and Woodward Bays contain areas of open water and aquatic and herbaceous vegetation communities. Within these wetland communities are a number of sensitive plant populations. This Area also represents bay communities which have adjacent buffer areas that recently have been disturbed through clearcutting and reforestation activities. This Set-Aside was established to preserve the integrity of this bay assemblage and to offer protection to the sensitive plant populations found in these bays.