Marsh Mapping Techniques Piloted in Rhode Island

Monitoring data from the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve and the Rhode Island Salt Marsh Assessment show that rapid degradation of salt marshes in the area is likely caused by sea level rise. Resource managers and policy makers needed baseline maps to see how fast these changes were occurring and pinpoint areas most at risk.

NOAA testing methods and technologies looked promising, but a pilot site was needed to understand how to apply the techniques in Rhode Island. The Narragansett Bay reserve had multiple years of data for Coggeshall Marsh on Prudence Island, making it a prime site to pilot the mapping application. The successful pilot has led the way for a statewide application that will produce the much-needed maps of current salt marsh extent and composition. (2016)

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Partners: Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, U.S. Department of the Interior