Friday, June 30, 2023 Background

Statewide Resilience Plan: Marsh Migration and Nature-Based Solutions

by Lily Abromeit

We know our estuary ecosystem is crucial to keeping our coastal communities resilient, providing key habitat for marine mammals and birds and maintaining ecotourism. In order to keep this unique habitat from drowning as sea levels rise, salt marsh needs to be able to migrate landward. Recognizing this, we have worked over the last few years as a member of the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative to craft recommendations for ensuring this habitat continues to survive. Many of these recommendations were incorporated into the Resilience Plan.  

The Plan recommends we continue to map high resolution land cover data to help prioritize areas for conservation that would support marsh migration. Acknowledging the important role of nature-based solutions such as living shorelines or land conservation, the Plan recommends we promote the use of these in communities across the state by establishing a recurring grants and loan fund to support implementation. 

For years, Conservation League staff have served on a stakeholder group established by state resource agencies to advocate for a more streamlined permitting process to construct living shorelines. While much progress has been made, the Resilience Plan makes it clear that more local and state planning is needed to identify and remove barriers to permitting and implementation of more nature-based solutions. 

Read about other highlights from the plan here.

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