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Wetlands Research

The United States Geological Survey conducted a study on how sea-level rise (SLR) and urbanization will modify coastal landscapes across the globe. The USGS is a scientific agency of the UnitedStates government that studies the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it.

According to the study, salt marshes and wetlands have adapted to sea-level fluctuations by moving landward. As sea levels rise, some tidal saline wetlands will adapt and migrate landward in undeveloped low-lying areas where migration corridors exist. However, where natural and man-made barriers are present (such as, natural bluffs and seawalls or levees, respectively), landward wetland migration will be halted.

In the study, researchers quantified the potential for landward migration of tidal saline wetlands along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast under alternative future sea-level rise and urbanization scenarios. The agency complied and made data available to the planners, developers, and others.  In addition to identifying areas where landward migration of tidal saline wetlands is possible, the study also shows locations where landward migration of these wetlands could be prevented by barriers associated with current urbanization, future urbanization, and levees.

The study can be found at the Monthly Bulletin of the Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice.

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