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The Nature Conservancy completes comprehensive assessment of coastal salt marsh advancement in Connecticut

With the completion of a Salt Marsh Advancement Zone Assessment for all 24 coastal municipalities, Connecticut is now the first state in the nation to have comprehensive, detailed, parcel-scale information to inform land-use and policy decisions in the face of climate change.
The Nature Conservancy completes comprehensive assessment of coastal salt marsh advancement in Connecticut

TNC

Communities along the coastline are already witnessing one of the most immediate and certain impacts of climate change: salt marsh advancement. As sea level rises, salt marshes must retreat inland to find suitable habitat for high marsh vegetation. What lies in the path of these incoming marshes? With the first complete future salt marsh assessment in the nation, Connecticut now has the tools to answer this question, and foresee the implications.

After developing a salt marsh advancement model with the University of Connecticut (Hoover et al. 2010), The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Resilience Team in Connecticut has completed a Salt Marsh Advancement Zone Assessment for all 24 coastal municipalities along Connecticut’s coastline. The unprecedented collection of detailed, parcel-scale information will provide an invaluable resource for decision makers and stakeholders considering:

  • Where and how much salt marsh advancement occurs on existing open space (refuges, parks, preserves, etc.) and will require progressive management (green); 
  • Where and how much salt marsh advancement occurs on currently unprotected and undeveloped parcels (green);
  • Where and how much conflict there will likely be in the future between the existing built environment (roads, airports, schools, neighborhoods, businesses, etc.) and daily tides (red).

 

Check out a one-minute video explaining how the Salt Marsh Advancement Zone assessment is being used in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Read the full story about this effort on The Nature Conservancy's blog:  “How Resilient Coastlines Build Safer Communities

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