Wetlands / Climate Change

One of the things that make Jug Bay a very special place is its extensive network of tidal freshwater wetlands. The influence of the tides and low salinity is what makes this system what it is: dynamic, diverse, and full of life!

Jug Bay wetlands within the middle reaches of the Patuxent River, like many other wetlands within the Chesapeake Bay, face the uncertain impacts of increasing water levels, salinity intrusion, droughts, and other climate change related impacts. Infrastructure has been installed at Jug Bay for long-term monitoring of marsh plants, marsh surface elevation change, and groundwater . This information can be used to inform management and restoration activities and gain a better understanding of this system’s resiliency to climate change.

As a result of all the ongoing long-term monitoring conducted at Jug Bay, we are one of several place-based “Sentinel Sites” forming the Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative (http://www.vims.edu/cbnerr/CBSSC/index.php and http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/sentinelsites/chesapeake.html), which main goal is “to provide information to Chesapeake Bay communities and managers who need to address challenges such as storm flooding, local sea level rise, barrier island movement, degraded water quality, and wetland loss”.