Storms and sediment movements

A critical limitation of urban coastal wetlands is having enough supply of sediments to build up the marsh surface to keep up with sea level rise. In the absences of sediments, coastal wetlands basically become mudflats and drown and lose most of their ability to provide ecosystem services such as wildlife habitat, flood control and remove carbon from the atmosphere (carbon sequestration).  This fall, MERI scientists started research to assess the role of big storms play on sediment availability to marsh surfaces. MERI scientists are measuring the changes in water flow velocities, turbidity and water elevation due to high energy storms and comparing these to normal weather conditions. Results from this research are expected to assist in informing new resilience designs in the form of berms and flood gates being proposed to ameliorate flooding the Meadowlands District.