EQR Estimators Attend Conference on Sea Level Rise and its Effects on the Chesapeake Bay


In early February, EQR estimators Katrina Emery and Rick Scaffidi attended the Marsh Resilience Summit in Williamsburg, VA. The conference included discussion of the effects of sea level rise on marsh losses and gains throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, and the potential solutions to combat its adverse effects.


Presentations at the Summit included research results from surrounding universities, concentrating on the environmental and economic challenges that the Chesapeake Bay faces. Katrina and Rick shared their key takeaways from the conference, including some of the statistics and effects of sea level rise:


· From 1920 to 1992, Virginia and Maryland have measured 20cm of sea level rise in the southern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and expect to see a 40cm to 60cm rise from 1992 to 2050


· The rate of sea level rise is anticipated to increase to 7.3-9.2mm per year by the year 2050


· Tidal marshes have two ways to cope with sea level rise – migration up the slope and accretion of sediments to increase marsh elevation


· If sea level rise outpaces the natural process of marsh migration, both high and low marshes will flood before they have time to establish at a higher elevation


In order to combat the adverse effects of rapid sea level rise, the conference panel discussed a number of potential solutions:


· Protection of upland areas to allow for the migration of wetlands


· Apply the construction technique thin layer sediment placement using dredge materials to raise wetland elevations


· Manage control strategies of phragmites to increase stabilization in highly erodible areas


· Design and install shoreline protection using living shorelines and other tidal BMPs to help protect marshes from erosion, increase accretion in the wetland, and prevent land loss


Both Katrina Emery and Rick Scaffidi were excited to attend these events and bring back their takeaways to the EQR team. EQR has the opportunity, with years of experience in stream restoration, wetland maintenance, and storm water management, to actively help combat many of these pressing environmental issues. To learn more about these conferences please visit: https://mtbma.org/mdqi-2019/

https://chesapeakebayssc.org/marsh-summit/

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