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.
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.
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.
Rachel Stevens, Stewardship Coordinator and Wildlife Ecologist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cory Riley, Manager, Cory.A.Riley@wildlife.nh.gov
Lynn Vaccaro, Coastal Training Program Coordinator, Lynn.E.Vaccaro@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:
Applying the Plan
In an effort to protect local marshes for the future, the Seabrook Hampton Estuary Alliance worked with the Great Bay Reserve to use the New Hampshire Salt Marsh Plan to prioritize parcels for conservation in a data driven and easy to explain process.
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.