Developing techniques for restoring and enhancing estuarine habitat resilience
Coastal habitats are threatened by numerous stressors and negative effects are exacerbated by human activities. Coastal ecosystems such as marshes, seagrass, and mangroves, which help mitigate wave damage and coastal erosion, are vulnerable to development, extreme weather events, and sea level rise. Native oyster populations, which provide valuable ecosystem services and are an integral part of local economies, have also suffered as a result of habitat loss and change.
In order to restore threatened habitats, communities have been taking steps to understand stressors and mitigate their negative effects on habitats. Stakeholders and end users are taking an active role in improving the sustainability of shoreline restoration, oyster populations, and salt marsh ecosystems.
Expanding research on habitat degradation and marsh health to identify potential management solutions that help plan for a desired future is a priority need for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. As a result, Science Collaborative project teams are studying multiple components of coastal and estuarine restoration, including native oyster habitat restoration, sediment transport and deposition, invasive species impacts, and natural alternatives for shoreline protection and restoration
To learn more about specific projects and research products in this focus area, follow the links below.