"Sea Level Rise Threatens to Wipe Out West Coast Wetlands"

"Unless people intervene, U.S. Pacific Coast marshes could vanish as the ocean rises, eliminating wildlife habitat, storm surge protection and carbon storage."

"Rising seas will drown most wetlands on the U.S. West Coast in less than a century, a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey warns. In many areas, the wetlands won't be able to migrate inland without help.

As these coastal marshes vanish, communities will lose valuable wildlife habitat, protection against storm surges and natural carbon storage that helps slow global warming.

"Wetlands provide flood protection and sequester carbon. They filter water and improve water quality, they exchange nutrients with the ocean," said Karen Thorne, a U.S. Geological Survey sea level rise researcher who led the research, published this week in the journal Science Advances. Keeping them healthy is critical for those reasons and for coastal wildlife, since they serve as a nursery and feeding area for fish and marine animals, she said."

Bob Berwyn reports for InsideClimate News February 22, 2018.

Source: InsideClimate News, 02/23/2018