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Something is killing New England's salt marshes, and scientists are trying to figure out how large the problem is, and how to stop it. Parts of the marshes, normally teeming with cord grass, fish and birds have turned mud brown and bare of life except for fiddler crabs.
"No one recalls seeing anything like this," Ron Rozsa, coastal ecologist with Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection, told the Day of New London as he surveyed a section of the Oyster River salt marsh in Old Saybrook. "We're talking about a crime scene investigation some forensic ecology, if you will."
Scientists are calling the mysterious phenomenon sudden wetlands dieback.
Motorists were stranded during the morning rush hour, commuter trains were halted and emergency crews used boats to rescue dozens of people marooned by high water.
Many government employees were told to stay home, and tourists found that some of the major landmarks that had drawn them to Washington were closed.