Mangrove forests occupy a unique ecological niche in inter-tidal zones of the world’s tropics and subtropics, and their extent and health have important implications for both science and policy. In the conterminous United States, these warm temperature- and saltwater- loving trees only grow in three states: Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. However, these forests are highly … Continue reading Tracking Mangroves in the United States: Where? Why? and What’s Next?
Corals are being stressed by so many things nowadays. For example, they must cope with living in warmer water that can lead to coral bleaching and die-off. On top of this, humans are making the situation even worse by dredging up coral reefs and smothering nearby reefs with the dredged sediment. Sedimentation on reefs can … Continue reading Sediment Dredging Harms Miami Coral Reef
A lot of beaches are eroding, basically washing away, because they aren’t getting enough natural sediment to replenish themselves. One reason for this is that we have built hard structures along beaches (like jetties, ports, harbors, and factories) that block sand from being naturally pushed along by waves; sand gets stuck behind these structures and … Continue reading How to Renourish a Beach with a Forgotten Past: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Barrier islands are vital buffers between mainlands and the ocean’s harsh wind and waves. “Mississippi barrier islands are the first line of defense between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi mainland, and are an important habitat for threatened Gulf Sturgeon, endangered and threatened sea turtles species, and threatened shorebirds” (Dalyander et al., 2016). In … Continue reading Ship Island Restoration: Decisions Before the Storm
Coastal wetlands, like this tidal marsh, are not only beautiful, they are also home to diverse ecosystems and act as protective buffers between coastal communities and the sometimes stormy and destructive ocean. Worryingly, sea-level rise and bigger storms threaten to flood and erode these vital environments as climate change worsens. One method that has been … Continue reading Coastal Wetlands vs. Climate Change – How We (and Sand) Can Decide the Victor