Military, Government Groups Endorse NC Salt-Marsh Protection Plan
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A group of military and government leaders has endorsed an initiative to protect the one million acres of salt marsh that stretches from North Carolina down to northeast Florida.
Salt marshes are sinewy channels of coastal grasslands known for their ability to protect coasts from flooding and storm surge. About a dozen military bases and training grounds are located along or close to the Southeast coastline.
John Nicholson, chief deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, said healthy salt marshes can significantly improve coastal ecosystem and community resilience.
"Through the protection of property, infrastructure and installations overall from storm surge and flooding during heavy rain events and hurricanes," Nicholson outlined.
The decision came from the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability which includes members of the Department of Defense and other federal agencies, along with state environmental and natural-resource officials from across the Southeast. A draft conservation plan is expected for 2022.
Nicholson added the state's Climate Risk and Resiliency plan calls for living shoreline designs that include salt marshes and other strategies to boost resilience to natural disasters.
"Along with salt marsh, we've been working on sub-aquatic vegetation and what that means to habitat and water quality," Nicholson explained. "And I do believe that our folks that live down on the coast understand and appreciate what this means."
According to NOAA, salt marshes soak up excess floodwaters and wave energy during storms, and can mitigate property damage by up to 20%.
Lora Clarke, East Coast marine conservation officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts, said salt marshes face many ongoing threats.
"Rising seas, polluted runoff and poorly planned development," Clarke listed. "So this is an opportunity to bring all the partners together now to develop solutions and protect this habitat while we still have it."
Two dozen groups of fishermen, hunters, conservationists and others have also declared their support for developing a salt-marsh plan.
The U.S. has approximately 3.8 million acres of salt marshes, and three-quarters of them are in the Southeast.
Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.
North Carolina climate risks assessment N.C. Dept. of Evironmental Quality June 2020
Salt marsh facts NOAA 02/26/2021
Coastal fast facts NOAA 02/26/2021
Plan to protect salt marsh draws broad support Pew Charitable Trusts 04/28/2021
Salt marsh facts Pew Charitable Trusts 03/01/2021
get more stories like this via email
Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…
A new report found when high school students enroll in early college programs, it improves the chances they will go on to college after graduation…
As hurricane season kicks into full gear, Pennsylvania officials are reflecting on the impacts of Hurricane Agnes 50 years ago, and urging property …
Health and Wellness
Texas is home to one in 10 Americans of reproductive age, and mandated births due to the state's abortion ban will increase the number of maternal …
Community health centers are calling on state and federal lawmakers for added protections against drug manufactures for drastically cutting them out o…
The futures of tourism, wildlife and ranching in Mono County are now at the mercy of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - according to …
Coming off a string of controversial opinions, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case tied to oversight of federal elections…
Health and Wellness
Some New York health care facilities are getting a funding boost to help train the next generation of doctors and dentists. The U.S. Department of …