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Thursday, May 24 • 9:15am - 9:30am
Assessing Tidal Marsh Resilience at the Landscape Scale

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Using current marsh condition, vulnerability to sea level rise, and potential for adaptation metrics derived from a combination of Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP) data and other national datasets this project is developing a protocol to assess tidal marsh resilience at the landscape scale. The protocol will support standardized comparisons of marsh conditions over large areas (HUC 12 scale) with broadly similar land use, land cover, and hydrology characteristics, along the coasts and within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). Used in tandem with other NERRS-based marsh assessment tools, it can provide an integrated continuum of assessment to inform efforts to study, restore, or protect tidal marshes at the local, state, regional and national scale.

Tidal marshes are under significant pressure from sea level rise and development. There is an urgent need to evaluate marsh resilience to such pressures in order to inform relevant research, monitoring programs, restoration projects, and marsh management plans. However, there are few tools to support “apples to apples” comparisons of marsh conditions across large geographic areas. By using nationally standardized data sets that look at current and future conditions, this protocol provides a mechanism to compare marshes in different places in a systematic way that is not possible with variable, site-specific data. It incorporates information about surrounding land conditions, making it a useful tool for screening large areas for marshes with particular characteristics, targeting fieldwork, and strengthening experimental design. Because the protocol’s metrics take future conditions into consideration, it can be used for marsh restoration and migration planning. It is particularly valuable for assessing marshes that are difficult to access or infrequently visited.

This abstract is part of a land cover, wetland, and change mapping session which include the following 4 authors: Nate Herold, Meghan Halbisky, Ken Pierce, and Suzanne Shull.

avatar for Suzanne Shull

Suzanne Shull

GIS Specialist, WA Dept of Ecology
Suzanne Shull is with the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Suzanne has been using GIS and remote sensing to map and track changes in the intertidal habitats of Padilla Bay since 1997. She has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from Western Washington... Read More →

Thursday May 24, 2018 9:15am - 9:30am AKDT