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Why are salt marshes important?

Why are salt marshes important?

Salt marshes certainly play a critical role in the aquatic food web, but they can also protect cities and towns from coastal flooding by absorbing the influx of water during storm surges and providing buffers between the sea and homes and businesses.

How was Keyhaven salt marsh formed?

The Keyhaven Marshes are salt marshes formed in the lee of Hurst Castle Spit. The landform has been actively shaped by longshore drift for hundreds of years. Henry VIII built a castle near the tip of the spit to help defend England from possible invasions.

What are sea marshes?

Salt marshes are coastal wetlands that are flooded and drained by salt water brought in by the tides. They are marshy because the soil may be composed of deep mud and peat. Peat is made of decomposing plant matter that is often several feet thick. Peat is waterlogged, root-filled, and very spongy.

Why are salt marshes fragile?

The vulnerability of salt marshes is largely related to the effects of waves on sediment stability and on lateral erosion. The evidence we present for the effects of storm associated erosion mostly originates from salt marshes seeing as the literature on grazing-marsh damage from salt water erosion is scarce.

How can we preserve salt marshes?

Solutions: Restoring tidal flow through the removal of manmade barriers, like dikes, dams, tide gates, undersized pipes and culverts, will support a diversity of native salt marsh plants and animals, and allow the natural flushing of nutrients and other pollutants that degrade salt marshes.

What are the benefits of a marsh?

We now know that coastal marshes are crucial to the environmental health of the region, filtering nutrients and pollution from the water, protecting communities from rising sea level and harsh storms, supporting breeding grounds for commercially valuable fish, and offering recreational opportunities.

How big is Keyhaven salt marsh?

The Wildlife Trust’s reserve started to expand in 1980 and now encompasses over 700 ha. Today the combined area of the two reserves covers well over 1200 hectares. It incorporates mudflats, salt marshes, shingle banks, coastal grazing marshes, and saline lagoons.

How was Hurst Castle spit formed?

The spit formed from loose flint pebbles which had been eroded from the cliffs further west. This scheme rebuilt the shingle bank using dredged shingle, and saw the building of a new rock revetment utilising larvikite rocks shipped from Norway at the western end of the spit and near the castle.

What is a marsh in terms of structure and characteristics?

Marshes are a type of wetland ecosystem where water covers the ground for long periods of time. Marshes are dominated by herbaceous plants, such as grasses, reeds, and sedges. Unlike swamps, which are dominated by trees, marshes are usually treeless and dominated by grasses and other herbaceous plants.

How are salt marsh environments being successfully managed?

As salt marshes are reinterpreted, their ecosystem services become better understood. Efforts include proper management of existing marshes, introduction of legislation to protect ecologically important habitats, reduction of intense development along the coast, and restoration of damaged marshes.

What damages salt marshes?

Current threats to salt marshes are changes to natural hydrology, pollution, coastal development, fill/improper marsh elevations, and non-native/invasive species.