The University of Virginia’s Long-Term Ecological Research Project has just received a $6.7 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to study climate changes, rising seas and encroaching civilization on the coast’s ecosystems.
UVA has been doing this for 36 years.
“We’ve seen that the island area has been reduced by about 30% on the barrier islands,” said Karen McGlathery, Director of UVA’s Environmental Resilience Institute. Says it’s important. “Well, healthy coastal systems like barrier islands, salt marshes and sea grass meadows are the first line of defense against coastal storms and sea level rise and they protect coastal communities and make them more resilient.”
She says a major goal of the National Science Foundation project is to produce “sound science,” to inform decision makers how to best protect the nation’s ecosystems.