MOUNT DESERT ISLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Federal officials say rising seas could threaten many of Acadia National Parks salt marshes.
In a report by the U.S. Geological Survey more than 800 acres of uplands in and near Acadia National Park will likely be flooded by the ocean if sea level rises 2 feet during this century. That would leave 75 percent of the saltwater marshes with no place to go.
David Manski is the chief of resources at Acadia National Park. Manski says the marshes actually have an important ecological and economic value. They are very important to many of the commercially harvested shellfish and fin fish as nurseries. He also says the recent study is important because we need to understand what the effects the rising sea levels will have on the salt marshes and what can be done to protect the areas around them.
Manski also said, " In certain cases the land adjacent to the salt marsh will allow the salt marsh to migrate landward. Like where we are standing here, this salt marsh can move this way as sediment and water can be moved here the habitat changes. Where as on the other side you see it is very hilly and higher? So, as the sea levels rise, that end of the salt marsh will be lost because there is no place for it to move."
Manski says the important thing is for people to start to talk about the issue and plan for the future by monitoring development and by conservation or protection.
If you would like to see more on the report you can go here. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5290/