Project Title: Impacts of tidal hydrology on maritime forest and coastal marsh dieback

Duration: July 2022 – Dec 2022 (continuation of July 2020-2021 project)

Funding Source(s): NSF, Geological Society of America Student Grant

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Watson (
Onsite Contact: Andrew Payne (
Affiliation: Drexel University and the Academy of Natural Sciences

Project Description:  This project will analyze groundwater patterns, salinity, and plant stress using mapping of near-infrared spectral indices, and plant photosynthesis measures to address knowledge gaps in our understanding of the impacts of sea level rise to maritime forests and salt marsh. We are focusing on understanding the proximate causes of marsh forest dieback by building robust and complementary geospatial datasets focusing on key hydrologic factors and plant stress indicators. This project also involves study sites in New Jersey and New York.