Losing Massachusettsí

Coastal Salt Marshes

Introduction to a
Salt Marsh
  "It stands between land and sea, taking from both and giving to both,
comprising a network of complex ecological strings that tie the unity of the oceanís edge together."
(Hay & Farb 1982)
 (photo courtesy of M. Salett 1998)
  Salt marshes are found along protected intertidal shores in middle and high latitudes throughout the world, and are considered one of the most productive habitats per square unit of area (Mitsch & Gosselink 1986). Even though biodiversity within a salt marsh appears to be rather low from a distance, closer inspection reveals that actual diversity with respect to numbers of species present is relatively high (Gadbois 1989, Montague 1981). This can be attributed to the fact that these wetlands serve as important feeding habitats and wintering grounds to many migratory and local species of aquatic birds. They also provide crucial habitat for spawning and serve as nurseries for many invertebrates and fishes, including commercially and recreationally important species. Furthermore, many endangered species are dependent on wetland resources and the increasing loss of these habitats has lead to more rapid declines within these populations. Wetlands act as important buffers between terrestrial and aquatic environments, yet it has only been relatively recent in our history that scientists, managers, and public opinion has regained an appreciation for this important habitat. In the mean time, history has left its mark. The activities of European colonists have forever changed the salt marsh.

            I. Historical Perspectives
                      Marsh Haying
                      Salt Marsh Reclamation
                      Mosquito Control
                      Tidal Restrictions
                      Boston and Itís Environs

            II. Current Issues
                      The Wetlands Protection Act; other protection laws
                      New methods for mosquito control
           III. The Future of Wetland Conservation
                      Environmental and Political Perspectives
                      Wetland Restoration & Creation (Mitigation)
                           Reducing Tidal Restrictions


This page was created by: Wendy Dalia
Last update: 5/26/98
Please note this page is under construction.

ConNE Home Page½Wetlands Intro Page
Salt Marsh Intro½Historical Perspectives½Haying½Reclamation½Mosquito Control½Tidal Restrictions½Boston½References