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Detecting Impacts from Climate Change Across Multiple Scales: A National Synthesis of Tidal Marshes


Tidal marshes face accelerated sea level rise, increased storm activity, precipitation extremes, lengthened growing seasons, and shifts in salinity. Recent NERRS research has revealed striking changes in plant communities that seem to be caused by rising seas, including shifts toward more flood-tolerant species, lower overall plant diversity, and in some cases growing swaths of bare ground. 


Conduct a detailed, national-scale synthesis of tidal marsh responses to climate change, specifically changes in marsh vegetation community responses to sea level rise. 


  1. Provide insight on how climate change is affecting marshes nationwide
  2. Create NERRS-specific templates and automated tools for data analysis and visualization
  3. Ensure transferable utility to other organizations with marsh monitoring datasets
  4. Ensure transferable utility to other coastal habitats (seagrass, mangroves)
  5. Provide a framework for guiding and facilitating other national-level research
  6. Produce education and science translation products to support management and policy

Project Period

February 2021 to January 2024

Team Members

National Project Leads

  • Chris Peter, Great Bay NERR
  • Kimberly Cressman, Grand Bay NERR
  • David Burdick, University of New Hampshire

Wells Reserve Team Members

  • Chris Feurt, Cross-Sector Working Group Lead Organizer
  • Jason Goldstein, Team Member Core
  • Laura Crane, Team Member Core
  • Jacob Aman, Team Member Core


Project Website


$599,894 from the NERRS Science Collaborative

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