Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dramatic Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On Chesapeake Bay's Coastal Habitats

Date:
May 24, 2008
Source:
National Wildlife Federation
Summary:
A new report, Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Habitats of the Chesapeake Bay, shows in vivid detail the dramatic effects of sea-level rise on the largest estuary in the US, which sustains more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals including great blue herons and sea turtles. If global warming continues unabated, projected rising sea levels will significantly reshape the region's coastal landscape, threatening waterfowl hunting and recreational saltwater fishing in Virginia and Maryland, according to the report by the National Wildlife Federation.

Habitats of the Chesapeake Bay at risk from sea level rise.
Credit: Image courtesy of National Wildlife Federation

A new report, Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Habitats of the Chesapeake Bay, shows in vivid detail the dramatic effects of sea-level rise on the largest estuary in the US, which sustains more than 3,600 species of plants, fish and animals including great blue herons and sea turtles.

Related Articles


If global warming continues unabated, projected rising sea levels will significantly reshape the region's coastal landscape, threatening waterfowl hunting and recreational saltwater fishing in Virginia and Maryland, according to the report by the National Wildlife Federation.

Habitats at Risk

Coastal habitats in the Chesapeake Bay region, near Washington D.C., will be dramatically altered if sea levels rise globally about two feet by the end of the century, which is at the low end of what is predicted if global warming pollution remains unaddressed.

Under this scenario, the region would lose:

  • More than 167,000 acres of undeveloped dry land
  • 58% of beaches along ocean coasts
  • 69% of estuarine beaches along the bay
  • 161,000 acres of brackish marsh
  • More than half of the region’s important tidal swamp

These important wetland habitats would be replaced in part by over 266,000 acres (415.6 square miles) of newly open water and 50,000 acres of saltmarsh.

Wildlife At Risk

The Chesapeake Bay provides critical stopover and wintering habitat for more than one million migratory waterfowl, including the canvasback, mallard, redhead, American black duck, tundra swan, and Canada goose. The bay’s coastal marshes are home to great blue heron, snowy egret, and other familiar birds, and they provide important food sources and nesting sites for numerous songbirds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

The region’s beaches support some of the largest populations of shorebirds in the western hemisphere such as red knot and piping plover, and are a critical nesting site for sea turtles.

And, of course, the Chesapeake Bay sustains recreational and commercial fisheries worth billions of dollars annually, including popular blue crab, rockfish, menhaden, and eastern oyster.

A twelve page summary of the report is available at: http://www.nwf.org/sealevelrise/pdfs/NWF_ChesapeakeReportFINAL.pdf

The full technical report is available at: http://www.nwf.org/sealevelrise/pdfs/SeaLevelRiseandCoastalHabitats_ChesapeakeRegion.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Wildlife Federation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Wildlife Federation. "Dramatic Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On Chesapeake Bay's Coastal Habitats." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080523083007.htm>.
National Wildlife Federation. (2008, May 24). Dramatic Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On Chesapeake Bay's Coastal Habitats. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080523083007.htm
National Wildlife Federation. "Dramatic Impact Of Sea-Level Rise On Chesapeake Bay's Coastal Habitats." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080523083007.htm (accessed March 3, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) A goblin shark, a rare sea creature described as an &apos;alien of the deep&apos; is found off Australia and delivered to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Duration: 01:25 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
500 Snakes Surprise Construction Workers In Canada

500 Snakes Surprise Construction Workers In Canada

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Hundreds of snakes, disturbed by a construction project, were relocated to a wildlife rescue association in Canada. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Going Gluten-Free Could Get You A Tax Break

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) If a doctor advises you to remove gluten from your diet, you could get a tax deduction on the amount you spend on gluten-free foods. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Zookeepers Copy Animal Poses In Hilarious Viral Photos

Zookeepers Copy Animal Poses In Hilarious Viral Photos

Buzz60 (Mar. 2, 2015) Zookeepers at the Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh, Australia decided to take some of their favorite animal photos and recreate them by posing just like the animals. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins