Sustaining Coastal Wetlands

April 2023
ELR 10259
Jeff Peterson, Amanda Santoni, Mallory Eastland, Nicole Carlozo, and Emily Donahoe

More severe storms and rising sea levels resulting from a changing climate pose a threat to ecosystems along the U.S. coast. These include beaches, dunes, wetlands, and marshes, which provide significant environmental, recreational, and economic benefits. Practices to sustain these ecosystems are available, but are not well understood, face legal and financial obstacles, and have not been widely implemented. On January 19, 2023, the Environmental Law Institute hosted a panel of experts who explored measures and practices for sustaining coastal wetlands in the face of a changing climate. In this Dialogue, we present a transcript of that discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Jeff Peterson (moderator) is a Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute, Co-Facilitator of the Coastal Flood Resilience Project, and author of A New Coast: Strategies for Responding to Devastating Storms and Rising Seas. Amanda Santoni is an Ecologist in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. Mallory Eastland is a Project Coordinator at the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative. Nicole Carlozo is Section Chief for Waterfront and Resource Planning at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Emily Donahoe is a Policy Specialist for Resilient Coasts and Floodplains at the National Wildlife Federation.