June 23, 2021 – The southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States are famous for their extensive salt marshes. These coastal wetlands provide a vital nursery ground for many marine species, they filter nutrients and contaminants from the water, and serve as buffers during storms.
The University of Georgia’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island has long been a world-renowned field site for salt marsh ecologists. Since 2000 it also serves as the home base for the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research program, which seeks to understand how these ecosystems function, how they change over time, and how they might be affected by climate change in the future.
On nearby Tybee Island, scientists from the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography are part of a study that examines how well the marshes found on the backside of this popular tourist destination are keeping up with sea level rise.