Wetlands

Wetlands are areas on the landscape that are saturated with water at some time during the year. Wetlands are found in fresh and saltwater systems, in upper and lower elevations, within forests, and along coastlines. Wetlands moderate flood peak flows, provide storage of floodwaters and regulate water supply during drought. Wetlands are most sensitive to climate changes that modify local hydrology and alters natural flow patterns. The quality of wetlands may decline given long-term climate changes, as native vegetation faces intense competition by species better adapted to altered conditions, colonization of undesirable species, invasive species establishment and pest invasion.

Sea levels are rising, and storm intensity and rainfall are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy showed the state of New Jersey the power of storms that climate change is predicted to bring to the Northeast coast. Researchers are…