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Dying salt marshes puzzle scientists! (This one is a 'must read')

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posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 01:21 PM

Dying salt marshes puzzle scientists

New England scientists began noticing dead patches like this one near Lieutenant Island four years ago and call it sudden wetland dieback. Ecologists warn that saltwater marshes from Maine to Connecticut are suddenly and inexplicably dying, leaving behind land resembling honeycombs, Swiss cheese or an eroded desert landscape.

Few scientists can explain it or recommend what to do. Even skeptics concede something unusual is happening.

"It's something that people who have spent their entire careers working in salt marshes have never seen before,"
said Stephen Smith, a plant ecologist who works in Cape Cod for the National Park Service. "There's no precedent for it."


Folks! This is not a good sign....

[edit on 12-8-2006 by loam]

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 01:25 PM
On the West Coast, we have "dead zones" of oxygen starved waters causing a deluge of dead marine life.

On the east Coast, we have disappearing salt marshes.

I agree. What the hell is happening? Is this somehow linked to climate change as well, or is another process at work here?

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 01:28 PM
No clue Skadi...

This is not looking good. :shk:

[edit on 12-8-2006 by loam]

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 02:15 PM
Kudos, Loam-

You are fast becoming the environmental conscience of this forum; keep up the good work.

As far as the salt marshes are concerned, they seem a symptom of a global epidemic (pandemic?) of environmental dieback and dieoff of vital non-renewable recources. It's time for all people who care about this planet to take a stand and
demand their legislative and executive bodies actually do something to stop this madness!

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 02:23 PM
how do you know this is not good this my be a good sign

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 02:24 PM

Originally posted by truthseekerpeacemaker
how do you know this is not good this my be a good sign

I'd love to hear your theory on this one....

[edit on 12-8-2006 by loam]

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 03:07 PM

I damn well know what's going on and it's mostly the fault of the overimpowered enviromentalist groups coupled with things like Levees.

Take a look at the Mississippi Delta for a second. How did it grow?

The river flooded and dumped all the mud from Iowa, Missouri and the like on it. The saltwater marshes grew up and out, some becomming purely freshwater marshes, some becomming fully land.

Now the Levees are in place to protect cities like New Orleans. Fine, man doesn't want to be flooded out of his house every year.

Recently, to "protect the marshes" anything that the overimpowered enviromentalist decide that we aren't supposed to build up the land, the way the Mississippi did before the environuts got a hold of law system.

Some of that land hasn't been marshland in over 80 years...if not closer to 200 years.

The parts of it that are still marshland don't get the major influx of Mississippi mud and while not sinking, are eroding away. (They can't sink at the rate of a foot per year, like the environuts said, because our homes don't have a foot a year to lose. Gross exaduration. I'm some hour away from the coast and I have maybe 5 ft elevation (not even). I have friends who have .5 ft., who'se grandparents had those same houses some 100 years ago, and their elevation back then was .5 ft. It hasn't changed. Things like sinkholes occour with the currents, just like erosion. And while we lose coast, it isn't from playing around with the marshes. Our hands are tied.)

Basically we can't fix the problem because of the environmental laws in place.

Now for the East coast. A few big natural issues that are supposed to happen can be happening.
1. A local watersource is bringing in mud, elevating the marsh above the saltwater. Drying out marsh becoming land has that same sick look because the land is changing its general nature. If it's supposed to happen, as it supposed to happen, you leave it be. You'll be able to build a house there in some 25 years without disturbing the marshland.
2. Another issue could be that the sea level is dropping either globally, or locally. As the global contradicts the global-warming-melting-the-polar-icecaps, I'm all for it. I love irony, and anything similar. (Many rabid christians believe that God likes to make us look like fools. All He'd have to do is melt the icecaps, but slow down the output of the fresh springs in the ocean to a lower rate than before the icecaps were melting. He's been thumbing his nose at the weathermen recently, so might as well do the same with the icecaps.~Reference to when the next Katrina was supposed to show up this year.) Even without a God, the chances of the Icecap Environuts being wrong are just as likely since none of them were there the last time it happened.
Local would be more like natural levees (almsot strategic looking lumps of land) in the marsh giving way.....The whole marsh can't be under the water.

3. Freshwater intrusion. Look at the midwest....there's a whole waterway underground. Is there an underground waterway in that area for freshwater? People had wells out there, in that general direction. If it changes underground course even a slight bit, the water may well be brackish. Less salt can kill saltwater grasses. Nearly impossible to stop, since interfering with undergound waterways is what caused the Dustbowl duirng the Great Depression. We don't know enough about them to deal with them.
...which leads to a manmade idea. Was there any new underground thigns put in that general area, like subways, sewer pipes? That changes the some of where the underground water goes, if the water and the constuction is anywhere nearby each other.

4. Getting too hot and simmering the plants as the water evaporates in pockets. Happens down here all the time. Goes hand in hand with the first one. It's easier to heat up small tiny pockets of water than a large mass.

5. Similar to 4: One loophole to building up the marshes is to burn them...or more accurately, when they burn, don't put them out. Why bother? They are on water. They usually can't get far. When they burn, all the old material settles to the bottom, leaving room for all new plants instead of having dead grass choke out the new plants. This builds up the marsh. This may be a natural variation on that. Kill out spots for the new grass next season. It may just be that there's more spots than usual, this year. To test this one, the hole in the marsh would have to be studied for a year or 5 even.

Most of this is some of those things that the environuts will mess with and screw up, all out of good intentions. Some of this is things that while not out right harmful in the long run, are dangerous for the next 10 years, and needs to be checked into.

but seriously, I;ve seen pockets of marsh like that down here since I was a little girl, and now that I'm a gorwn man
Ive seen those same patches of land recover without environut help.

[edit on 12-8-2006 by jlc163]

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 03:10 PM
quote: Originally posted by truthseekerpeacemaker
how do you know this is not good this my be a good sign

I'd love to hear you theory on this one....

sure, instead of all that area being wasted on things like habitat, open space, natural water filtration, and medium for biodiversity, it can be put to good use and be paved over for a walmart parking lot. /sarcasm off

seriously though, my first thought was perhaps theses areas were in shallower spots and with the high temperatures, the wated got to warm and "burnt" the stuff. but that dosent really hold, if for no other reason than its been really hot before, and these guys are saying they havent seen this type of damage before. so then I thought maybe its an invasive parasite or bug of some sort that targets the salt grass clumps that make up the structure of the marsh. perhaps spread via migratory birds. or perhaps a herbacide that targes the grass, but from the picture it looks like the damage is out tword the middle and not in the immediate proxsimity of an inflowing stream that may carry the chemicles. or even more scary, perhaps a toxin in an aquifer, when comtaminated springs rise to the surface the kill the life around it.

or maybe truthseeker is right and its just part of some 374 year cycle of saltmarsh recycling that we will never understand because the benifits dont show for at least another 100 years.

just my 2/3rds of .25 cent

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 03:35 PM
This might be one culprit:

A primeval tide of toxins
Runoff from modern life is feeding an explosion of primitive organisms. This 'rise of slime,' as one scientist calls it, is killing larger species and sickening people.

In many places — the atolls of the Pacific, the shrimp beds of the Eastern Seaboard, the fiords of Norway — some of the most advanced forms of ocean life are struggling to survive while the most primitive are thriving and spreading. Fish, corals and marine mammals are dying while algae, bacteria and jellyfish are growing unchecked. Where this pattern is most pronounced, scientists evoke a scenario of evolution running in reverse, returning to the primeval seas of hundreds of millions of years ago.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Salt marshes might be species dependent, kill one aspect of the marsh and the whole marsh begins to die.

Without Blue Crabs, Southern Salt Marshes Wash Away, Study Finds
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Scale back the harvest of blue crabs now, say Brown University biologists. Their new study suggests that current over-harvesting of blue crabs may be triggering the colossal die-off of salt marshes across the southeastern United States and may one day cause nearby barrier islands to collapse as well.

Silliman and Bertness call this top-down phenomenon a "trophic cascade." "The discovery of this simple trophic cascade implies that over-harvesting of snail predators, such as blue crabs, may be an important factor contributing to the massive die-off of salt marshes across the southeastern United States," wrote the authors. The results contribute to a growing body of evidence that similar top-down processes may regulate production in other saltwater ecosystems, including those dominated by kelps, other sea grasses or intertidal algae, they said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

When humanity starts figuring the solution is never destruction irregardless of profit, then maybe we can reverse the direction towards our extinction.

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 04:24 PM

who knows for sure?

the natural ecosystem is dying from the same type of affliction we term as
'dying from 10,000 paper cuts'

eyewitness accounts & my considered analysis, of east coast SC marshes;

the runoff from required parking (@ condos, restaurants, etc) erected in these
'scenic' locals on the very edges of Inlets, Marshes, etc. contribute to its death

the sewage, pollution, toxic runoff from the necessary infrastructure encroachment for splendid & desirable residential lots (thus commanding a higher tax assessment) bordering as close as possible, the naturally occuring tidal basins/ marshes/wet-lands] which ultimately outflow into swashes...which have been reduced to 1/10th their origional & natural occurring breadth & scope...
therby creating the daily health-warnings of high bacteria counts in the 'effluence'
(formally regarded as pristine outflows)

The above is only the 'tip-of-the-iceberg' of the rant...
There is no remedy in the present 'free & democratic' structure of gov't.

All one might do, is to afford to visit a 3rd world area on a 'vacation' to see & experience what is forever lost, (sans an armegaddon) here in USA.

posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 04:34 PM
Regen and Loam, thanks for the links.

It's really a great concern because the marshes are part of the filtration system for water around the planet. I wonder if this is only in the US or if it's a global issue. Does anyone know?

posted on Nov, 16 2009 @ 04:09 AM
reply to post by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

Perhaps the planet has tiered of us pillaging as we please, and is soon planning on pushing us Humans into the Fossil records.. I think that if we disrupt the natural order for so long and to such extents as we do, the planet being an organism in and of it's self will build up an immunity to the disease that is Humanity.

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