Study: Climate change threatens saltmarshes, ecosystems

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, VA. Image Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — New research partly blames climate change on the loss of Virginia’s saltwater marshland.

William & Mary says in a press release that these environmentally important areas support various birds and reptiles.

Researchers from the university’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science say the combination of storms and sea-level rise have pushed Virginia’s barrier islands further inland. In turn, salt marshes are buried.

Since 1870, Virginia has lost about 8,000 acres and 10 percent of its back-barrier saltmarsh habitat.

The study, published online in Geology, predicts similar losses in places including South Carolina, New Jersey and Germany.

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