Innovative Boardwalk Built from Lobster Trap Wire Saves Marsh in Massachusetts

The first-ever boardwalk made of lobster-trap wire is saving marsh grasses in the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and capturing the interests of other coastal managers.

Researchers were inadvertently killing these grasses as they pulled heavy equipment through the marsh, so reserve staff designed and built a boardwalk made of lobster-trap wire. In addition to being sturdy, safe, low cost, and easy to build and dismantle, the light-penetrating, elevated boardwalk easily accommodated researchers’ rolling carts and minimized pressure on the marsh.

Since its completion, there has been visible healing of damaged marsh areas. The boardwalk has attracted additional research projects to the reserve, and other coastal programs are interested in adapting the idea. (2016)

Partners: Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve