By Buzzards Bay Coalition
A few years ago, Jack Reynolds noticed that salt marshes on the Westport Rivers were collapsing. “Big chunks of the marshes were falling in,” he remembered.
Reynolds used to fish on the Westport River back in the 1970s each spring, when young striped bass move into the estuary to feed among the river’s rich salt marshes. He would use the marshes as markers to remember the best spots to troll for bass.
“I noticed the marshes were not the same as they were back then,” Reynolds said. “I thought, ‘There’s something going on here that’s just not right.’”
Reynolds published a column about his findings in a newsletter for the Westport Fishermen’s Association, which he serves as president. That’s when he heard from others on the river who said they had noticed the erosion as well.
Now, a new research project is bringing together scientists from across Buzzards Bay to find an answer to the eroding salt marsh mystery and help protect the future of the Westport River’s salt marshes.
Why are the Westport River’s salt marshes eroding?
When Reynolds first realized that the Westport River’s marshes were collapsing, he did some research and came upon a study about salt marsh erosion in the Plum Island estuary, just north of Boston.
In this study, led by the Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystems Center scientist Dr. Linda Deegan and published in 2012, scientists discovered that nutrient pollution can cause salt marshes to collapse over time. Read more…
YouTube Embed v5.0
End of YouTube Embed code. Generated in 0.00636 seconds