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Assessing Tidal Marsh Resilience to Sea Level Rise at Broad Geographic Scales with Multi-metric Indices

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A 2016 Science Transfer project led by Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve 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.

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This paper, published in Biological Conservation, describes how the project team developed and applied tidal marsh resilience to sea-level rise (MARS) indices - a powerful new approach to evaluating and comparing the resilience of different marshes to sea level rise.


Raposa, K.B., Wasson, K., Smith, E., Crooks, J.A., Delgado, P., Fernald, S.H., Ferner, M.C., Helms, A., Hice, L.A., Mora, J.W., Puckett, B., Sanger, D., Shull, S., Spurrier, L., Stevens, R., Lerberg, S., 2016. Assessing tidal marsh resilience to sea-level rise at broad geographic scales with multi-metric indices. Biological Conservation 204, 263-275.