Spartina alterniflora begins flowering during the late summer.

Snail on marsh grass Spartina alterniflora.
Image by Kimberly Manzo

A salt marsh snail escapes the rising tide.

spartina plantings

Spartina alterniflora being propegated at SCMELC in Southold.

Salt Marsh

Salt marshes, also known as tidal wetlands, provide a buffer between our developed shorelines and our creeks and bays, helping to filter pollutants and safeguard our waters. These essential zones also provide critical habitat to shorebirds, fish, and shellfish alike. The dominant species comprising the tidal zone of salt marshes, Spartina alterniflora, is vulnerable to changes in elevation caused by sea level rise, and other threats. Unfortunately these critical ecosystems are declining in our region and therefore restoration projects are crucial to ensure these habitats continue to provide for us and our wildlife for years to come.

CCE has been involved in salt marsh restoration for over 20 years, although to a lesser extent than other habitat restoration efforts, until now. Currently, two large scale salt marsh restoration projects are in the planning stages and will soon be underway to increase this habitat to our local shorelines.


Christopher H. Pickerell
Marine Program Director

Last updated April 17, 2018