By Trish Hartmann [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Coastal Armoring, Sea Level Rise, and Salt Marsh Migration


Coastal salt marshes provide a number of important services, from nurseries for fish and shellfish to buffers against storm surge and wave erosion. This project is focused on examining how coastal armoring affects salt marsh migration as sea level rise “squeezes” marshes between high water and armored shores. Shoreline armoring — bulkheads or revetments built to prevent erosion and flooding — is widespread along coastal areas but its effects are not currently incorporated into analyses of salt marsh migration. We are using the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) to simulate how current and potential future shoreline armoring could impact the migration and survival of salt marshes along the Georgia coast. These results will be useful for managers looking to understand what areas are vulnerable to salt marsh loss and are deserving of protection.