Tidal marshes (i.e., salt marsh and freshwater and brackish marshes influenced by tides) rely on their ability to accumulate sediment and organic matter to build elevation. If sea level rises faster than a marsh can build elevation, it will eventually drown, becoming mud flat or open water. To examine this issue, CZM—in partnership with the Woods Hole Group, Marine Biological Laboratory, Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection—applied the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (or SLAMM) for the entire coast of Massachusetts. Funding support for this project was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Modeling the Effects of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Wetlands (PDF, 20 MB) is a report that details the SLAMM modeling approach, identifies data gaps and limitations, summarizes results at multiple scales, and provides recommendations for improved simulations. The report was prepared for CZM in 2016 by Woods Hole Group with technical support from CZM, Marine Biological Laboratory, and other partners.
Additional information on this project is available on CZM’s Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) page.