As NJ loses tidal marshes to rising seas, new study proposes solutions

Adding sediment, creating ‘living shorelines,’ among suggested fixes

Stretches of green tidal marshes from the Meadowlands to Delaware Bay serve as natural flood barriers for coastal towns and help boost water quality in popular tourist destinations. But a new Rutgers University study finds New Jersey’s tidal marshes could disappear by the next century due to sea level rise.

“Tidal wetlands are considered the kidneys of the natural world,” said  Metthea Yepsen, a research scientist with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “They filter water, they give us clean water, they take the nutrients and pollutants out of the water and incorporate it back into their structure so it makes our water swimmable and fishable.” Yepsen’s research was part of a study led by Rutgers University, which examines the losses of tidal marshes and proposes solutions to mitigate those losses.

Lead funding for Peril and Promise is provided by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos. Major support is provided by Marc Haas Foundation and Sue and Edgar Wachenheim, III. 

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