Mud Wanted: Inquire Where the Sea level Rises

The San Francisco Bay Area serves as a case study, that applies in places like Louisiana as well, of how mud shortages compound the threats of sea level rise.
March 4, 2016, 1pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Nathan Forget

John Upton reports on the surprising panacea in the effort to adapt to rising sea levels in the marshlands of the San Francisco Bay Area. John Upton explains the problem:

Marshes capture mud from water to grow and sustain themselves. A worsening shortage of mud floating in San Francisco Bay and its waterways is contributing to erosion. It’s threatening plans to block flooding from sea level rise through the restoration of wetlands in the Bay Area, where homes and office buildings are packed into low-lying areas.

Meanwhile, scientists are quickly realizing the pressing need for these projects to be successfully implemented.

The article goes into great detail in describing the critical role of mud to habitat in the San Francisco Bay Area, though the problem is also rampant along the Louisiana coastline.

According to Upton, 42,000 acres of wetlands have been restored in the Bay Area since 1999, when Bay Area agencies released a plan to restore 100,000 acres of wetlands. More help could be on the way:

Voters in the nine Bay Area counties in June will consider imposing a new annual property tax [pdf] of $12 per parcel to reduce water pollution and help fund an acceleration of marsh restorations. Some of the funds could be spent addressing the sediment shortfall. The tax would raise about $25 million a year — “a fraction of what is needed,” a Contra Costa Times editorial noted last week.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, March 3, 2016 in Climate Central
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