Negative Impact of Nutrients On Coastal Ecosystems

Salt Marshes along the U.S. Eastern seaboard and other highly developed coastlines have witnessed deterioration of salt marsh. The disintegration has accelerated in recent decades, with some losses caused by sea-level rise and development.

As per recent studies, nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus originating from septic systems, sewerage, and soil fertilizers on land flow with rainwater down to the coastal ocean is responsible for this disintegration.

What is the importance of Salt Marshes?

Salt marshes form critical interface b/w the land and sea. They provide habitat for fish, birds, and  shellfish; protect coastal cities from storms; and they take nutrients out of the water coming from upland areas, which protects coastal bays from over-pollution. Losses of healthy salt marsh have accelerated in recent decades, with some losses caused by sea-level rise and development.

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