SCDNR presents the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative

After nearly three years of development, a comprehensive plan to protect salt marsh along the coast from North Carolina to east-central Florida has finally come to fruition.

USACE photo

In South Carolina, a coalition of over 75 individuals, including those from the Coastal Conservation League, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), U.S. Department of Defense and local land trusts have worked together to recognize primary threats to salt marsh and identify key strategies, objectives and actions to conserve the marsh.

The South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative’s (SASMI) plan calls for protecting the sinewy channels of coastal grasslands for their value in reducing flooding and erosion, providing wildlife habitat and supporting coastal businesses and economies.

The plan includes two key strategies:

  • Protect and restore the health and functions of existing salt marshes.
  • Conserve migration corridors and remove or retrofit barriers to ensure salt marshes can shift as sea levels rise.

The Strategy 1 – protection and restoration of existing salt marshes – includes several objectives, such as supporting hydrologic connectivity, water flows and sediment replenishment that is favorable to salt marshes and broader estuary health.

SCDNR intends to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on development of five-year dredged material management plans, a new USACE directive, and develop criteria to prioritize marsh restoration areas that would benefit from this significant source of sediment and creation of new marshes.

Read the full SASMI Plan