Living Shorelines Blunt Effects of Climate Change, Study Shows

"Shoreline management techniques like this can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while increasing coastal resilience," said Russell Callender, Ph.D., acting director of NOAA's National Ocean Service.

A NOAA study published in the journal PLOS One finds that "living shorelines," which are protected, stabilized shorelines using natural materials such as plants, sand, and rock, can help to keep carbon out of the atmosphere and thus aid in blunting the effects of climate change. It is the first study to measure carbon sequestration in the coastal wetlands and the fringing marshes of living shorelines in North Carolina.

 "As communities around the country become more vulnerable to natural disa"Shoreline management techniques like this can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while increasing coastal resilience," said Russell Callender, Ph.D., acting director of NOAA's National Ocean Service.sters and long-term adverse environmental change, scientific research such as this helps people, communities, businesses, and governments better understand risk and develop solutions to mitigate impacts.”"

Pivers Island Living Shoreline, adjacent to the Duke University Marine Lab, is an example of the hybrid, or marsh-sill approach. It includes an offshore sill constructed from granite, with salt marsh plants established landward of the sill. Carbon stored in coastal wetland sediments is known as "coastal blue carbon"; acre for acre, a salt marsh meadow can store two to three times as much carbon over the course of a year as a mature tropical forest, according to the study.

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