Mud on the Move: Predicting How Marshes Will Change as Sea Levels Rise

The San Francisco Bay research reserve’s leading role in a new protocol helps restoration projects better protect marshlands from sea level rise.

As sea levels rise, marshes can drown. This resource can be saved if the elevation increases to keep pace with sea level rise. One way this happens is when sediment suspended in the water accumulates on the marsh’s surface. A team led by the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve developed a protocol to assess this suspended sediment. The findings are improving the scientific community’s understanding of sediment dynamics, increasing the accuracy of ecological models, and informing marsh conservation and restoration projects. (2016)

Partners: California Sea Grant, California State Coastal Conservancy, Grand Bay Reserve, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve, Point Blue Conservation Science, San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, San Francisco Bay Reserve, University of Alabama, University of San Francisco, University of South Carolina, U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center