U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

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Hurricane Sandy hit Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge hard. In the years since, the Service and its partners have worked to make the refuge more resilient to storms. At the end of October, another storm put those efforts to the test.

The Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners, including The Conservation Fund, are raising the level of a salt marsh at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge to help it keep pace with sea-level rise and continue to provide wildlife habitat and protection for private property.

Salt marshes provide habitat for fish, birds, and invertebrates and purify water by taking up nutrients that can be harmful in excess. They help protect neighboring coastal communities by buffering against wind and waves and absorbing, then slowly releasing, floodwaters. Salt marshes are threatened by sea-level rise and their tendency to gradually sink. The Fish and Wildlife Service is using a process called thin-layer deposition to restore these valuable habitats.