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A Landscape Scale Assessment of NERRS Marsh Resilience

Lead Agency:
Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Primary Contact:
David Justice

Project Partner(s):
Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Sponsor(s):
National Estuarine Reseasrch Reserve System

Start Date - End Date
09/01/2017 - 08/30/2018

Description:
GRANIT is part of a team working to develop GIS-based tools for assessing the long-term resilience of tidal marshes within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). NERRS is developing tools to assess marsh resilience to sea-level rise and other environmental changes using monitoring protocols employed at selected study sites. It is important for researchers to understand how representative the selected monitoring sites are in the context of each Research Reserve and its broader region. The goal of this project is to develop a national framework of Marsh Study Unit (MSU) boundaries to facilitate assessments of marsh resilience throughout Reserves and regions. These MSUs are areas of broadly similar landuse/cover and hydrology that can be used to evaluate a number of metrics using a consistent methodology across geographic regions. Working in partnership with ecologists and GIS specialists across the United States, GRANIT is using nationally-available remote sensing data to develop these MSU boundaries and assess marsh resilience. These assessments will contribute to the development of management strategies for NERRS Reserves throughout the nation. Understanding the potential for tidal marshes to adapt to sea-level rise and other changes will allow managers to develop effective strategies to ensure these marshes continue to carry out their vital ecological functions.

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