Effects of Sea Level Rise on New England Salt Marshes: A Workshop Led by the New England NERRs

  • Photo credit: Narragansett Bay NERR

    Photo credit: Narragansett Bay NERR

There is growing evidence that the New England coast faces mounting challenges due to sea level rise. One of the ways sea level rise threatens the coast is through degradation and loss of salt marshes, which play an important role for society in mitigating shoreline erosion, maintaining healthy fisheries, reducing flooding, and protecting water quality. Research has identified southeast New England salt marshes as some of the most vulnerable marshes in the country, prompting researchers and practitioners to evaluate mechanisms of resilience and opportunities for conservation and management of these important ecosystems. 

To build capacity for addressing salt marsh resilience, the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in collaboration with the three other New England reserves, hosted a regional workshop for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the growing body of literature on salt marshes and sea level rise. Building upon the success of a similar workshop held in Rhode Island in 2014, the goal of the project was to further strengthen the connections between the New England reserves through cross-reserve exchange while providing an important information-sharing opportunity for the larger salt marsh restoration and adaptation community.