RI Salt Marsh Conservation Project

This project is made possible using  Volkswagon settlement funds awarded by Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.

Salt marshes provide critical habitats for fish and shellfish, they protect our shorelines from storms and flooding, and help preserve water quality. In the face of current and projected sea level rise, unless salt marshes can migrate landward, they will drown.

URI’s Environmental Data Center will use the settlement funds to identify and protect the most important land areas that marshes can retreat to. Specifically, the project includes:

Updating the aerial maps that show where salt marshes will migrate landward as sea levels rise along the RI shoreline. These maps are used by communities and RI CRMC for salt marsh conservation.

Reconciling the marsh migration maps against property ownership GIS data to identify the most important unprotected parcels that need to be conserved to allow for landward marsh migration.

Educating communities and land trusts of these critical conservation targets; and

Creating downloadable marsh migration maps, critical conservation target web site and maps, workshops with communities and land trusts.