Exploring the cost-effectiveness of restored marshes as filters of runoff pollution

Project Leader: Dr. Just Cebrian

Project Details

NOAAs NERRS Science Collaborative program and US Fish and Wildlife Service
Marshes are experiencing dramatic declines due to many factors, thereby, reducing the services they provide. Restoration has been used to mitigate for these loses; however, there have been limited studies on the cost-effectiveness of these restoration projects. Removal and filtration of runoff pollution is one of the most highly valued services provided by marshes. In this study, we are evaluating the cost-effectiveness and performance of several different marsh restoration designs with regards to filtration of runoff pollution. Since flooding duration and water level can have significant effects on nutrient cycling in marshes, we are performing these studies at current sea-levels and at the predicted sea-level of the year 2030. Results from this study will be used to create a decision-support tool that environmental managers can use to choose the most cost-effective restoration design for their particular project. This project is a collaborative effort with many partners, including: Weeks Bay Foundation, Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, University of Alabama, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, University of Connecticut, and Northern Michigan University.

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