Assateague Island National Seashore awarded grants from IRA to restore Saltmarsh and study seagrass meadows

Assateague Island National Seashore to Benefit from Coastal Resource Management Projects

Healthy eelgrass compared to sun-bleached eelgrass
Healthy and sick seagrass

NPS Photo

News Release Date:

Contact: Hugh Hawthorne, 410-629-6080

Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) will benefit from two new coastal resource management projects funded through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). These projects aim to restore and enhance the ecological balance of the coastal ecosystem.

Saltmarsh Restoration Project:

ASIS will receive funding for a $3.3 million saltmarsh restoration and adaptive planning project. The saltmarshes on the Maryland portion of Assateague Island were ditched and drained in the 1930s. The National Park Service initiated a restoration project in 2008 using native beach sand to successfully restore impacted marshes. The new funding will support the continuation of this restoration effort.

Enhancing Seagrass Resilience:

A second project will focus on enhancing the resilience of seagrass meadows to reverse declining seagrass trajectories. Seagrass meadows adjacent to Assateague Island will be studied to identify key traits that are most resilient to climate stressors. This data will inform future seagrass restoration efforts.

Seagrass meadows play a crucial role in supporting biodiversity, serving as nurseries for fish, reducing erosion, improving water clarity, and capturing carbon efficiently. The decline of eelgrass, the main seagrass species in eastern national seashores, poses a significant threat due to factors like high summer water temperatures.

For more information about Assateague Island National Seashore and park activities, visit the park’s website or call 410-641-1441.


Read More of this Story at – 2024-03-20 22:06:22

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