Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is more likely to lose than gain salt marshes due to the rate of rising sea levels. Those are the findings of a recent analysis by the Coastal Resources Management Council.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Rhode Island is losing salt marshes at an alarming rate. Scientists and coastal planners say this is one of the most pressing climate change impacts already facing the Ocean State. Salt marshes are critical fish and wildlife habitats that support the state's fishing and tourism industries.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Just this week, the U.S. Senate went on the record that climate change exists. Local and state officials in Rhode Island haven’t been waiting around to take the lead from Washington. They not only know climate change is real, but they’re also planning for its impacts. As part of our Battle With The Sea series, Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza went on a tour with the Environmental Protection Agency’s northeast director to see how plans are in place.

RIPR File Photo

Coastal communities have a new tool available for wetland restoration projects. The Coastal Resources Management Council released new maps that show how rising sea levels will affect salt marshes.

Rhode Island has lost more than half of its salt marshes to coastal development. The state will lose more with frequent coastal flooding due to rising sea levels. Marshes play important roles as storm buffers, nurseries for fish and birds, and as filters for polluted runoff.