New York City’s tidal wetlands will soon be getting some much-needed attention thanks to a Wetlands Program Development Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. The funds will allow researchers to study the effects of climate change and rising sea levels on area wetlands in the city’s parks. Led by NYC Parks’ Natural Resources Group (NRG), the study will help address issues related to climate change and help restore and protect acres of salt marshes across the five boroughs.
Over 90 acres of salt marsh have been restored thus far, but there are still 4,000 acres around the city that need examination. Plus, with the increased threat of extreme weather and sea level rise, some historic tidal marshes are now in danger of being drowned. Preserving these salt marshes will not only save wildlife and shore ecosystems, but will also help to naturally protect the city from future super storms like Hurricane Sandy.
The EPA’s grant of $222,000 will be matched by New York City, and will allow the NRG to study and assess the marshlands for the next two years. With the grant, they will also be able to study which salt marshes are at the most risk of being affected by rising sea levels, so they can become a priority to take preventative measures first.