Assessing the impacts of hydrological alterations due to ditching on salt marsh ecosystem services and sustainability
Friday, October 30, 2020
10:00am - 12:00pm
Target Audience: resource managers, restoration practitioners, researchers, federal and state agency staff, local officials and non-profit organizations working on coastal resilience and salt marsh restoration and conservation
Join us for this webinar to learn about research results and tools from the Marsh Sustainability and Hydrology (MSH) Project and discuss potential application to your work and salt marsh management and restoration. The MSH project is a collaborative research effort involving partners from the University of Georgia, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Louisiana State University, United States Geological Survey, Cape Cod Mosquito Control, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Coastal resource managers are tasked with making decisions that simultaneously address the welfare of local communities and the sustainability of salt marshes and the valuable ecosystem services they support. In New England, anthropogenic ditches were dug to reduce shallow ponds on the marsh platform where mosquitos breed, although this may have led to unintended consequences such as lower elevations and increased susceptibility to sea-level rise. In order to evaluate the net impacts of ditching to carbon storage and elevation resilience, we collected cores from the ditched and unditched sections of Great Barnstable Marsh (MA, USA) and measured and compared accretion rates, soil properties, soil organic carbon and ages to determine impact of ditching on marsh sustainability to sea level rise. A geomorphic model calibrated with field data was used to develop a decision support tool to help managers assess impact of different management strategies on salt marsh sustainability and ecosystem service delivery.
In this webinar our team will:
share the main results and outputs of this study;
discuss ways this information can be used to support salt marsh management;
highlight next next steps for research;
identify potential people and organizations that could benefit from this work.
This study was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through the NERRS Science Collaborative. Stakeholders and end users from a diverse group of federal, state and local organizations contributed input to the development of the MSH Decision Support Tool.