Coastal Wetlands, Second Edition - Chapter 23: Salt marsh restoration

Elsevier, Coastal Wetlands: An Integrated Ecosystem Approach, Volume , 1 January 2018
Adam P.

Salt marsh restoration and rehabilitation projects have been initiated at many locations around the world as a means of addressing past habitat loss as well as future threats. Planning for restoration requires making decisions between various options, and recognition of those values of salt marsh which we seek to replicate or protect. A range of threats is discussed, the chief amongst them are those related to climate change and the impacts of the growing human population. Climate change is a driver of sea level rise, but the viability of restoration projects is determined by relative sea level rise which will vary between and within wetlands; generalisations about the effect of sea level rise are not useful and there needs to be site-by-site consideration of relative sea level rise at the local scale. The concept of coastal squeeze is discussed and managed realignment as a restoration option is explored. The importance of monitoring and the use of feedback from monitoring for adaptive management stressed. Disturbance arising from human activity will need to be addressed at a range of scales, from global to local, and will often require cooperation between regulatory agencies in both setting and implementing policy. There is uncertainty associated with many of our predictions about the future of individual sites so we will need to treat restorations as field experiments.