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Research at the Reserve Series

What is a Runnel and Can it Help Restore Our Salt Marshes?

Tuesday, March 19 (In-person or Virtual)
6:30PM – 7:30PM

Salt marshes are experiencing accelerated changes via sea level rise and other disturbances, which is causing extensive habitat loss. Areas of standing water on the marsh platform cause vegetation death, elevation loss, and expansion of standing water. This has potential implications for important ecosystem services such as carbon and nitrogen cycling. In December 2023, we installed runnels, a restoration tool to help drain standing water and encourage revegetation and elevation gain in the marshes in the South Cape Beach area. In the coming years, we will monitor the effectiveness of the runnels.

Hillary Sullivan got her B.A. and M.S. from Clark University. She has worked at the Woodwell Climate Research Center studying the effect of nitrogen pollution on salt marsh ecosystems. She is currently getting her PhD through Northeastern University and is NOAA’s Margaret Davidson Fellow at Waquoit Bay NERR.


REGISTRATION: Please select if you will be attending in-person or via Zoom on the registration form.

In-person Option: The presentation will be at the Reserve’s Visitor Center; doors will open at 6:00pm.

Virtual Option: A Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the start of the presentation.



Venue Phone: 508.457.0495

Venue Website:

131 Waquoit Highway, Waquoit, Massachusetts, 02536, United States