Catherine de Rivera
Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors
Salt Marsh, Channels, Hydrology, Restoration, Sinuosity
Salt marshes produce many ecosystem services, from water purification to protection from hurricanes. Despite their benefits, salt marshes have been impacted negatively by human activities. There are many salt marsh restoration projects that intend to bring back all ecological functions and services. Quantifiable measurements are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of such restoration efforts. Earlier work by Reagan Thomas demonstrated what happens to the hydrology of salt marsh channels when they are adjacent to restored salt marshes. This study builds on Thomas’ work and uses the sinuosity of channels as a quantitative, representative metric of salt marsh hydrology restoration effectiveness. The data were collected through analysis of GIS images and Google Earth and calculating the sinuosity of restored versus reference marsh channels, following methods advanced by Thomas. This study found no statistical difference of sinuosity between channels in restoration marshes versus reference marshes, which is a favorable outcome because the goal of the restoration projects was to make the restored channels similar to natural channels. Future sinuosity research projects could include a larger number of restored and reference marsh channel sources, or they could measure channels of a different kind of habitat.
Kontas, Isis, "The Effects of Salt Marsh Restoration on the Hydrology of Salt Marsh Channels" (2023). University Honors Theses. Paper 1415.