Building a Stronger Coast
Coastal Recovery: Bringing a Damaged Wetland Back to Life

marshland, a fence and a person standing pointing

May 9, 2019 - An ambitious wetlands restoration project is underway at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge on Delaware Bay, where scientists are using innovative methods to revive a badly damaged salt marsh. The project could be a model for other places seeking to make coastal wetlands more resilient to rising seas and worsening storms.

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Refuge manager Al Rizzo looks over an area planted with native Spartina grasses.
Credit: Yale E360


Wetland 101: Where land meets water

aerial view of buildings and shoreline

May 7, 2019 - May is American Wetlands Month! But how much do you know about these historically derided resources?

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Wetlands such as salt marshes help protect communities from storm surges.


Coastal barrier system saves big money

water and some vegetation

April 9, 2019 - A new study shows a federal system of lands that protects coastal resources and taxpayers’ pocketbooks saved nearly $10 billion over 25 years and could save ten times that amount over the next 50, as severe storms become more frequent.

The Coastal Barrier Resources System, created by Congress in the 1980s, bans the use of federal funds for development and reconstruction on coastal lands that are storm prone or ecologically sensitive. The resulting open space serves as wildlife habitat and a protective buffer to sea-level rise and storm surge.

The Service has been updating the system -- adjusting boundaries and adding new units in nine states -- using federal funds for recovery and resilience projects following Hurricane Sandy.

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The Coastal Barrier Resources System protects wildlife habitat and saves billions in federal dollars.
Credit: Steve Droter


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Last updated: March 6, 2019