2022 Coastal & Estuarine Summit
Hosted by Restore America's Estuaries
New Orleans, LA | December 4-8, 2022
The South Atlantic Saltmarsh Initiative: A Landscape-Scale Partnership
Tue, 6 Dec, 08:30 - 10:00 Central Time (UTC -5)
Location: Parish
Moderator: Lora Clarke, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Track: Large Scale Management and Restoration
The South Atlantic coast is home to an expansive network of salt marsh and tidal creeks covering over a million acres. Filling and draining with saltwater as the tides ebb and flow, the salt marsh safeguards coastal communities and military installations from storm energy and floodwaters and serves as vital habitat for the fish and wildlife that support coastal businesses, state economies, and a unique way of life. These tidal marshes are vulnerable to rising sea levels, poorly planned development, and altered freshwater flows that threaten their ability to persist and benefit coastal populations into the future. The Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability’s (SERPPAS) South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative (SASMI) is working together with a diverse and growing coalition of over 230 partners representing the Department of Defense and other local, state, and federal agencies, cultural groups, conservation organizations, and stakeholders to develop and implement a comprehensive conservation plan to maintain, at a minimum, the current level of productivity and extent of the approximate one million acres of salt marsh stretching from North Carolina through Northeast Florida. Importantly, the draft SASMI conservation plan will be completed before the RAE Summit convenes. This panel session will begin with a joint presentation by SASMI coalition members representing SASMI leadership, the Department of Defense, state natural resource agency interests, a state land trust, and a cultural group. The panelists will present an overview of SASMI and touch on such aspects as novel approaches to funding, inclusive conservation, and fostering collaboration across political and cultural divides. These presentations will set the stage for discussion around challenges, opportunities, best practices, and lessons learned by this ongoing landscape-scale conservation initiative.

Overview of the Initiative

Mallory Eastland, South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative

Creative Funding Approaches

Heather Nagy, North Florida Land Trust

Marshing Forward Together

Queen Quet, Gullah/Geechee Nation

Nature-Based Defense

Ryan Orndorff, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Environment & Energy Resilience)

Operationalizing a Landscape-Scale Approach at the State Level

Tancred Miller, North Carolina Division of Coastal Management