2004 - Tidal Wetland Restoration

Theme Session 04 – 3

Wells Reserve Hosts Regional Marsh Monitoring and Restoration Workshop

On September 29-30, 2004, the Wells Reserve was the site of regional conference on marsh monitoring and restoration practices in the Gulf of Maine. The workshop was sponsored by the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine (RARGOM) 50 participants attended the two-day workshop, representing federal, state, non-government organizations, and academic research interests throughout the region.

Ray Konisky, a post-doctoral researcher at the Wells Reserve, moderated the meeting and presented his findings from an 18-month study of regional marsh monitoring results. Thirty-six marsh sites were included in the analysis, from Cape Cod (Massachusetts) to the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia). The study showed that Gulf of Maine salt marshes targeted for restoration are degraded compared to healthy marshes for many ecological indicators (i.e, reduced tides, lower salinity, brackish plant communities). However, the study also showed that regional restoration practices over the past 8 years are successfully restoring damaged marshes for physical functions, but biologic indicators are responding slower and require additional study. Workshop attendees reviewed the study results and discussed how to best move forward with restoration work in their respective geographic areas.

Meeting participants also worked on revisions to an earlier set of regional marsh monitoring standard practices. All agreed that much has been learned in this area over the past five years, and several important changes were advanced at the workshop. In a notable expansion to standard monitoring activities, mosquito larvae sampling was added in response to growing public concern of mosquito-borne diseases.

As host of the workshop, the Wells Reserve continues to expand on its role as a leading regional resource for both management and research of tidal wetlands in the Gulf of Maine.

 Tidal Wetland Restoration