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Episode 1302: At the Water's Edge: The Salt Marsh

The southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States are famous for their extensive salt marshes. These coastal wetlands provide a vital nursery ground for many marine species, they filter nutrients and contaminants from the water, and serve as buffers during storms. 

The University of Georgia’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island has long been a world-renowned field site for salt marsh ecologists. Since 2000 it also serves as the home base for the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research program, which seeks to understand how these ecosystems function, how they change over time, and how they might be affected by climate change in the future.

On nearby Tybee Island, scientists from the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography are part of a study that examines how well the marshes found on the backside of this popular tourist destination are keeping up with sea level rise. 

Meanwhile, scientists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Garcon Point Lab near Pensacola, on Florida’s Gulf coast, conduct research on three fishes that spend time in the salt marsh – the prehistoric-looking alligator gar and Gulf sturgeon, and the tiny saltmarsh topminnow.


Meet the experts featured in this episode.

Special Thanks:


Adam Kaeser 

Alan Robertson 

Amanda Nalley

Anthony & Sharon Edge 

Christopher Shaun Childs

Don Godish

Doris Hoffman

Emily Kenworthy 

Gracie Townsend 

Kelly Richmond

Lisa Doser

Mark Adams 

Mark Barrett 

Michael Sullivan 

Michelle Kerr

Rachel Walman 

Web Extras

Scenic Sapelo Island                                                 
SALTEx Experiment – How might sea level rise affect Georgia's freshwater marshes in the future?
Exploring the Salt Marsh – Horseshoe Crabs 
Exploring the Salt Marsh –Blue and Stone Crabs
Exploring the Salt Marsh – Fiddler Crabs        

Funding for this episode of Changing Seas was provided by:

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