This webinar focuses on research funded by the Long Island Sound Study and Connecticut’s Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation on the “ecosystem services” provided by coastal marshes. It is being led by Dr. Beth Lawrence, a University of Connecticut wetland and plant ecologist, and Kimberly “Ly” Williams, a Smithtown High School teacher in Long Island who collaborated with Lawrence to create a teaching module based on Lawrence’s research.
Coastal marshes that fringe Long Island Sound are dynamic ecosystems between land and sea that provide essential ecosystem services to surrounding communities such as improved water quality, carbon removal to the sediment, and protection from storm surges. However, as these valuable wetlands are increasingly altered by rising seas, invasive species, and increased salinity, there are changes in carbon and nitrogen cycling as well as in plant species composition.
In the webinar, Lawrence will discuss her research team’s findings and management implications. Williams will provide teachers with an overview of the module, which features five days of interactive activities for grades 9-12 designed to be easily modified and delivered to different skill levels and audiences. The module can be found at: https://climate.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/126/2020/01/Salt-marsh_Climate-change_module_final.pdf