DMF salt marsh shading study. Mass Bays Research & Planning Grants 2013.
Proliferation of small docks and piers in salt marshes poses potential cumulative impacts to this important habitat through shading and displacement of marsh vegetation. Quantitative information about shading impacts of individual docks is largely lacking and little work has been done to quantify cumulative impacts on salt marsh ecosystems. Through this study, the MA Division of Marine Fisheries  (DMF) will address potential impacts on such factors as vegetation height, density, biomass, and elemental composition in a representative salt marsh ecosystem in Marshfield. Results will be used to better inform the permitting system for such structures along Massachusetts waterways and serve to better protect vulnerable estuarine ecosystems.