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Development of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems in Southern New England USA
Wigand, C. Development of a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems in Southern New England USA. Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Annual Meeting, Providence, RI, May 31 - June 04, 2015.
The research project, SHC 4.62.1, Integrated Solutions for Sustainable Communities, focuses on understanding components of sustainability and decision-making beneficial to communities. This talk will provide guidance for climate change adaptation in face of accelerated sea level rise and an increase in the intensity and frequency of storms in the Northeast US. A common adaptive management approach previously used for successful restoration management was modified to identify climate-related vulnerabilities, and propose climate change adaptation actions and monitoring schemes for building resiliency and managing coastal salt marshes. The manuscript seeks to support sustainable communities by providing clear guidance to decision-makers on a climate change adaptation strategy.
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 adaptation 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 adaptation 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.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION
HABITATS EFFECT BRANCH