Texas A&M Corpus Christi |  Landscape architecture magazine

Posted in CLIMATE, HABITAT, ONLY ONLINE, PLANNING, PLANTS, REGION, RESEARCH, RESILIENCE, COAST, SPECIES, UNIVERSITY, WATER, WILDLIFE, tagged Anna Armitage, beaches, Brandi Reese, Christopher Patrick, climate change, coastal plain, Derek Hogan, disaster, Dunes, ECOLOGY, erosion, Firat Testik, flood, fresh water, grant, Gulf of Mexico, hurricane, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, landscape architect, landscape architecture, landscaping, mangrove, National Science Foundation, Paul Montagna, rain, research, resilience, salt marsh Wetlands, salt water, sand, sediment, storm, streams, Texas, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Texas A&M Galveston, University of Texas-San Antonio, Zach Mortice on November 21, 2017 | Leave a comment ”

The Texas National Guard and Texas Task Force conduct air search and rescue operations in Rockport, Holiday Beach and the Port Aransas area. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, photo of the Texas National Guard.

Harvey was an unprecedented storm that poured more than 50 inches of rain over Texas in just a few days. And when that happens, the next round of recovery and resilience calculations might best begin with the results of the National Science Foundation’s series of research grants devoted to studying the effects of the storm.

Last month, the agency distributed just over $ 5 million to 59 research projects spurred on by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, including several addressing the environmental and landscape consequences of catastrophic storms. Each promises to generate valuable information on flora and fauna left behind by extreme weather events. But these studies (four of which are detailed here) are even more important than mile markers on the way to a climate change-ravaged future – either as a guide to preventing it or to live better within its limits.

Anna Armitage from Texas A&M Galveston explores how the transition from salt marsh wetlands to mangroves could change the impact of hurricanes on the coast. In Texas, low, swampy wetlands are common, while dense mangroves are rare. However, this balance is shifting as climate change heats these ecosystems. As mangroves expand their footprint, Armitage (and researchers at Florida International University and the University of Houston) wonder if they could offer coastal ecosystems and human settlements more protection from hurricane winds and rain – at the expense of biodiversity. “It probably doesn’t offer the same value for birds, fish, and shrimp,” she says.

Climate change large picture: If mangroves provide more protection for coastal ecosystems in a climate with increasingly violent storms, the next question, according to Armitage, is, “Should we plant them in renaturation areas?” These types of “living shorelines,” she says, could “be more resilient, longer lasting, and more beautiful looking protection for our communities “be concrete barriers.

Grant amount: $ 122,935

Paul Montagna of Texas A&M Corpus Christi studies the inundation of freshwater (from rain) into saltwater ecosystems caused by Hurricane Harvey. During the first measurements after the rain, he observed and saw increased amounts of dissolved organic material in these waters (More…)

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