Government agencies, conservation groups begin salt marsh conservation plan
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A three-year project to protect salt marsh along much of the east coast finally has a comprehensive plan.
The South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative will protect coastal grasslands from North Carolina to east-central Florida.
In South Carolina, the state’s Department of Natural Resources says the project involves more than 75 people from the agency, the Coastal Conservation League, the U.S. Department of Defense and other land trusts working to identify threats to the salt marsh and develop ways to conserve the marsh.
“Salt marshes are iconic landscapes in the coastal Southeast, yet their health and sustainability is anything but assured,” SCDNR Director Robert Boyles said. “The South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative represents a comprehensive effort to bring to the table all who have an interest in the health of these invaluable habitats to collaborate and cooperate to secure the future of these special ecosystems.”
As marshes are threatened by rising sea levels, pollution and development, the project seeks to protect existing salt marshes while removing and retrofitting barriers to allow marshes to shift as sea levels rise.
The agency says marsh migration mapping is underway in South Carolina and will allow conservation efforts to be prioritized.
Strategies in the plan include elevating roads and conserving land near existing marshes to allow the wetlands to shift.
A complete overview of the plan can be found here.
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