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Communicating Results from the Tidal Marsh Resilience Synthesis

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This project focused on the development and dissemination of communications products based on a recently conducted national synthesis of NERR Sentinel Site data. This synthesis applied indices of resilience to sea level rise to marshes in 16 National Estuarine Research Reserves across the United States to assess regional and national patterns in resilience. Initial results revealed strong contrasts for individual metrics across reserves, with many marshes receiving intermediate scores and a few sites at very high risk. This work not only represented the first national assessment of marsh resilience to sea level rise, but also the first development and application of multi-metric indices.

Through this project, results were transferred to a variety of end users, and products and activities were developed with end user feedback. Products included a publication in a high impact scientific journal, a short, user-friendly summary of this publication, well-designed PowerPoint presentations for a variety of audiences, and a “do it yourself” tool so others can apply the novel marsh assessment approach to additional marshes. The marsh index scores were also linked directly to recommended coastal adaptation strategies, thereby meeting a frequently stated need to synthesize data on wetland resilience in a way that is transparent, clear, and accessible to coastal managers.