National Park Service (NPS) coastal biologist Jim Lynch uses a Surface Elevation Table (SET) to monitor the health of salt marshes. As part of an NPS monitoring program, he measures gradual elevation changes occurring on the surface of salt marshes. NPS photo.
Jim and a team of NPS scientists haul gear by boat and on foot into wetlands in coastal National Parks to study whether salt marshes are building up sediment fast enough to keep pace with sea level rise. NPS photo/J. Lynch.
The slightest shifts in the elevation of a salt marsh—millimeters per year—can indicate trouble. Salt marshes provide storm protection, promote good water quality, and provide habitat for invertebrates, fish, and birds. NPS photo.
A federal award to NPS’s Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network has made state-of-the-art survey equipment available to park scientists. It will support research efforts on coastal resilience and enhance natural resource monitoring. NPS photo/J. Lynch.
Salt marshes have been vanishing in the last four decades due to pressures from development and sea level rise. NPS photo/R. Baranowski.
When stressors compromise critical natural resources such as salt marshes, people can intervene to help them recover from threats, cope with sea level rise, and thrive. NPS photo/D. Filippini.