The New Hampshire

Salt Marsh Plan

Squeezed between rising seas and landward development, many of New Hampshire’s salt marshes are in danger of disappearing. The New Hampshire Salt Marsh Plan was designed to help us all protect, restore, or study salt marshes. You can use the Plan, along with your community’s values and priorities, to identify specific management strategies to help sustain our salt marshes. Staff at the Great Bay Reserve are here to help you put the Plan to work.

User Guide

This short report introduces the marsh resilience scores and explains how to use them. 

Viewer

Tidal wetland resilience scores are visually displayed on an interactive map. 

Management Options Table

The table summarizes management options based on a marsh’s current condition, vulnerability to relative sea level rise, and adaptation potential. 

About the Plan

The New Hampshire Salt Marsh Plan is a suite of products that help provide a comprehensive look at the resiliency of our tidal marshes. The products all originate from a geospatial analysis of current condition, vulnerability, and adaptation potential that is comparable across sites.

The Plan combines high-resolution land cover data from NOAA with local data sets to generate 224 marsh units across coastal New Hampshire. Data associated with more than 20 metrics is used to rank the current condition, vulnerability to sea level rise, and adaptation potential of each marsh unit. Each ranking is associated with one of eight categories of resilience, each with its own set of recommendations for management.

With this information, you can compare the relative resilience of different marshes, locate marshes for which a particular management tool may be most effective, and assess the potential return on investment of different restoration and conservation strategies.

This map shows the overall marsh resilience scores for tidal wetlands across the New Hampshire Coastal Zone.

How We Can Help

Staff from the Great Bay Reserve are available to provide technical assistance to municipalities, restoration practitioners and others interested in using the New Hampshire Salt Marsh Plan for land use, conservation, restoration, or research planning. Technical assistance can include conversations to discuss the data and the implications or the development of a customized map or analysis to support planning. These maps can help you communicate an important threat or opportunity related to the marshes you care about. Or, we can help scientists design monitoring and research projects that advance our understanding of how quickly we are seeing changes to our marshes and why.

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CONTACT

Rachel Stevens, Stewardship Coordinator and Wildlife Ecologist, rachel.a.stevens@wildlife.nh.gov

Cory Riley, Manager, Cory.A.Riley@wildlife.nh.gov

Lynn Vaccaro, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Lynn.E.Vaccaro@wildlife.nh.gov

CHRIS PETER, Research Coordinator, Christopher.R.Peter@wildlife.nh.gov

Resources to help you use the Plan

All the results and products are available through the Viewer

Download the GIS data through GRANIT

Example applications can be found in the User Guide

Data sources and methods are explained in the Data Notes

Draft products can help with site level planning:

Connect to Protect

Connect to Protect

This effort relied on the New Hampshire Salt Marsh Plan’s resilience scores, along with a suite of other metrics, to identify regionally important conservation opportunities. They identified salt marshes with a high resilience score, along with any undeveloped buffer areas, as “resilient marsh areas” that should be prioritized when identifying conservation focus areas.

Learning from the Saltmarsh Sparrow

Learning from the Saltmarsh Sparrow

Do you live near a salt marsh? Or maybe you’ve visited a NH beach and noticed the nearby marshes? If so, one of the coolest evolutionary stories may be playing out right under your nose. Keep reading to learn about the fascinating life history of a creature only found in salt marshes and the actions you can take to protect salt marshes in your community.