Salt marsh responses to tidal restriction and restoration: A summary of experiences

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People have had many reasons to build structures across tidal marshes that restrict tides, including agriculture, pasture, salt works, flood prevention, transportation, and access to uplands. Impacts to tidal marshes caused by tidal restrictions vary by type of restriction and its severity, as well as the geomorphology of the system. In most cases tidal flow can be restored, at least partially, and through monitoring, the physical and biological responses of the recovering marshes have been found to be predictable. Restoration of tidal exchange is important to restore various ecosystem services, such as essential fish habitat, and to reestablish a self-maintaining system. Unfortunately, tidal restrictions have enabled landowners and developers to build dwellings and infrastructure within areas landward of barriers that were once flooded by the highest tides. As documented by Reiner (chap. 21, this volume), as well as Adamowicz and O’Brien (chap. 19, this volume), restoration of such systems has been only marginally successful due to development within or adjacent to the marsh.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Tidal Marsh Restoration: A Synthesis of Science and Management