Funding Agency: NOAA NCCOS

Collaborators: Davina Passeri (PI), USGS St. Pete

  • The South Atlantic Bight (SAB) is an intertidal system spanning North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida coastlines with complex tidal circulations. It contains one of the most expansive salt marsh systems in the U.S., with habitats that serve as nurseries, breeding grounds and foraging areas for a variety of species. The complicated coastal geography of the region makes it difficult to predict the effects of sea level rise at a management scale. Coastal managers and stakeholders have identified the need for detailed assessments of marsh vulnerability, including marsh movement, loss of habitat, and the ability of natural and nature-based features to mitigate marsh loss under sea level rise in the region. This project aims to assess how salt marshes in the SAB will change under future scenarios of sea level rise. Investigators will develop a hydrodynamic and ecological model, Hydro-MEM, for the region at a high spatial resolution that can effectively inform coastal manager decisions. The existing Hydro-MEM model will also be enhanced to account for additional physical processes like sediment transport, and develop probabilistic projections of marsh productivity that account for uncertainty in elevation data. Coastal managers and regional stakeholders will be engaged throughout the entire project to ensure efficient and effective translation of science to application. Learn more.