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Webinar: Understanding the Role Coastal Marshes Play in Protecting Communities from Storm Surge and Flooding

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Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 3:00

Wednesday, March 31, 2021. 3:00 PM. Webinar: Understanding the Role Coastal Marshes Play in Protecting Communities from Storm Surge and Flooding. Peter Sheng, University of Florida; Sarah Fernald, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Sponsored by National Estuarine Research Reserve. More information here.

As coastal communities strive to safeguard themselves from increasing storm risks, they are looking for ways to maximize the protective powers of their natural features such as coastal wetlands. This project closely examined one marsh complex that lies adjacent to Piermont Village along the Hudson River Estuary in New York. Village residents wanted to better understand how Piermont Marsh would buffer their village from storm-induced flooding and waves, and whether a proposed plan to restore native cattails within a small area of the Phragmites-dominated marsh would lessen its buffering capacity.

In this webinar, two members of the project team will explain how the team used state of the art modeling methods to simulate marsh vegetation and storm impacts produced by a series of past and future storm scenarios. By looking back at Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and projecting how much worse the damage could have been without the marsh, the research team was able to put a dollar value on Piermont Marsh’s buffering services. They will share key takeaways from the research and explain how the findings are informing planning for the marsh and shoreline infrastructure.

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