Science Inventory

Development of a Climate-Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems in Southern New England USA

Citation:

Wigand, C., T. Ardito, C. Chafee, W. Ferguson, S. Paton, K. Raposa, C. Vandemoer, AND E. Watson. Development of a Climate-Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems in Southern New England USA. Presented at Long Island Sound Tidal Wetlands Loss Workshop, Port Jefferson, NY, October 22 - 23, 2014.

Impact/Purpose:

Sea level rise is accelerating throughout the U.S. Northeast causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife. Safe and Healthy Community EPA research is working with communities to build resiliency of coastal systems in New England. A framework and methodology adopted by scientific, management, and policy stakeholders for climate-change adaptive actions to manage coastal marshes in the Narrow River Estuary, RI is described. A traditional adaptive management approach previously used for restoration projects was modified to identify climate-related vulnerabilities and propose climate-change adaptive actions. When possible an experimental BACI (Before-After, Control-Impact) design was incorporated into the climate-change adaptation implementation plans. Specific climate-change adaptation actions and monitoring plans are described, and include marsh shoreline protection, restoring hydrological drainage patterns, increasing marsh elevation, and enabling upland marsh migration. Lessons-learned from the implementation of climate adaptation actions in the Narrow River demonstration project can be used to improve climate adaptation actions in other Northeastern communities in the US.

Description:

Sea level rise is accelerating throughout the U.S. Northeast causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife, including species of concern, such as the saltmarsh sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus). A framework and methodology adopted by scientific, management, and policy stakeholders for climate-change adaptive actions to manage coastal marshes in the Narrow River Estuary, RI is described. A traditional adaptive management approach previously used for restoration projects was modified to identify climate-related vulnerabilities and propose climate-change adaptive actions. When possible an experimental BACI (Before-After, Control-Impact) design was incorporated into the implementation plans. Specific climate-change adaptation actions and monitoring plans are described, and include marsh shoreline protection, restoring hydrological drainage patterns, increasing marsh elevation, and enabling upland marsh migration. The Narrow River Estuary climate-change adaptation framework is presented as a demonstration project of climate-change adaptation in a tidal marsh system in southern New England, USA.

URLs/Downloads:

CW_LISTWLW_ABSTRACT_2015.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 6.717 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 10/23/2014
Record Last Revised: 10/28/2014
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 290870

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

HABITATS EFFECT BRANCH