Aerial photographs taken during a Clemson University study show a salt marsh in South Carolina’s Hobcaw Barony wildlife refuge has expanded four-fold in the last six decades, though researchers can’t pin the cause to any one factor, according to an Associated Press report.
The study authors think the increased salt water entering the Strawberry Swamp near Georgetown, S.C., is related to sea level rise. Construction and shoreline modifications by humans may also play a role in the growing salt marsh.
The brackish marsh is killing trees in the forest as it expands. It will take time for the marsh to become productive for aquatic organisms.
The study was published in the journal Wetland Science and Practice.