Protecting Water Quality through Marsh Restoration

The Takeaway: Study determines marsh restoration cost and effectiveness; a 50 percent planting density seems to be the magic number.

People are using a study led by the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to determine appropriate levels of marsh restoration in terms of cost and effectiveness.

Weeks Bay teamed with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to study marsh restoration designs at varying planting densities of 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent. The study revealed that after a short period of time the 50 percent planting density removes similar nutrient runoff pollution levels as the higher planting densities, suggesting that a 50 percent density is the most cost-effective design for removing runoff nutrient pollution. (2016)

Partners: Colorado State University, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, University of Alabama, University of Connecticut, University of South Alabama, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve