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The Effects of Sea Level Rise on RI's Salt Marshes

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. | Save The Bay, Providence, RI

The Eastern U.S. is a hotspot for sea level rise. Between 1950 and 2009, sea level rise rates between Boston and Cape Hatteras were three to four times higher than the global average, and in recent years, actual water levels have averaged more than 10 cm greater than predicted. There are reports of salt marsh deterioration and loss on Cape Cod, Long Island, and Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, and anecdotal evidence of marsh loss in Rhode Island. This workshop explored new information and research on the condition of our salt marshes and management strategies related to sea level rise in Rhode Island and surrounding states. A series of presentations by researchers and restoration practitioners from RI and surrounding states were followed by an afternoon session of break-out group discussions. Attendees came prepared to share their thoughts and suggestions on how to strengthen coordination and move forward with approaches to help increase the resilience of our coastal marshes.

Target Audiences: Researchers, natural resources managers, restoration practitioners, and conservation groups.

This workshop was sponsored by the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve, Save the Bay, EPA, and the RI CRMC. For more information, please contact Jennifer West at jennifer@nbnerr.org or 401-222-4700 x 7413.




Attendee List

Presentation Comments & Q&A

Break-out Group Notes (Management, Monitoring, Restoration)

NBNERR Sentinel Site (fact sheet)

The role of the metonic cycle in vegetation change and the eroded edge (poster)

Special Edition of the Narragansett Bay Journal: Salt Marshes & Sea Level Rise

Presentations & Materials

A Salt Marsh Retrospective for the Future (Adamowicz)

Vulnerability of RI Salt Marshes to Accelerated Sea Level Rise (Watson)

Late Holocene and Anthropocene Sea Level Rise: Past, Present and Future for RI (Boothroyd)

The Declining Role of Organic Matter in Narragansett Bay Salt Marsh Accretion (Carey)

Dieback Events Accelerate Ongoing Spartina patens Loss in RI Salt Marshes (Raposa)

Developing a Salt Marsh Assessment Focused on the Impacts of Rapid Sea Level Rise (Cole Ekberg)

A GIS Assessment of Salt Marsh Change in RI from 1981 to 2008 (Nightingale)

Salt Marshes and Sea Levels in Eastern Long Island Sound (Warren)

Marsh Elevation Monitoring Efforts and Conservation Strategy Development by the Nature Conservancy on Long Island, NY (Starke)

Can Tidal Marsh Birds Persist in the Face of Climate Change? (Field)

Salt Marsh Adaptation Strategies in RI in Light of Sea Level Rise (Ferguson)

Sea Level Rise Impacts on Salt Marshes: Implications for Coastal Zone Management in RI (Chaffee)


Long Island Sound Study Wetland Loss Workshop Proceedings

Salt Marsh Trends in Selected Estuaries of Southwestern Connecticut (USFWS)


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