Marshes, Key To Coastal Health, Have A Tipping Point

Mar 20, 2019

Marshes, like this one on Oak Island, NC, are important coastal wetlands that need a certain water level to thrive.
Credit Anna Braswell

With sea turtles, fish and birds splashing around in the morning sunlight, marshes that line the American coast might appear peaceful and primordial. But forces both natural and manmade are constantly acting upon them, jeopardizing the survival of these critical ecosystems. New research analyzed the influences that cause marshes to become more “fringy” and sparse, pointing the way for scientists to prioritize interventions and restoration efforts.

Host Frank Stasio talks with coastal wetlands scientist Anna Braswell, who conducted the research during her time at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. The research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics program and North Carolina Sea Grant.