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UGA Launches Study Exploring Salt Marsh Preservation and Recovery

Olha Rohulya - Fotolia

The University of Georgia's College of Engineering is partnering with The Nature Conservancy to launch a pilot study exploring salt marsh preservation and recovery.

The Nature Conservancy will invite community stakeholders into the pilot, including representatives from insurance industries, to discuss introduction of insurance as an option for protecting marshland. Representatives from the program believe that if the pilot succeeds, insurance modeling of natural resources could be replicated across the South Atlantic.

The program, funded by Georgia Sea Grant, responds to a sharp decline of marshland along Georgia’s coast; experts estimate 70 percent of all salt marshes have already been lost across the eastern seaboard due to human development and sea level rise. Through a network of research groups and data analysts, the pilot program aims to determine the social and economic value of salt marsh ecosystems in Georgia and develop financial mechanisms to help incentivize protection and restoration of the marshes.