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Natural Systems Resources

Natural systems resources include information on three keystone coastal habitats (salt marshes, seagrasses, and shellfish) as well as the wider estuaries and watersheds that contain them. Resources include:

  • Salt Marshes
  • Seagrasses
  • Shellfish
  • Watersheds

Salt Marshes

Bromberg Gedan, K., et al. (2009). "Centuries of Human-Driven Change in Salt Marsh Ecosystems." Annual Review of Marine Science 1: 117-141. (PDF)

Bouma. T. J, M.B. De Vries, E. Low, L. Kusters, P.M.J. Herman, I.C. Ta´ nczos, Temmerman, S., A. Hesselink, P. Meire & S. van Regenmorte. Flow hydrodynamics on a mudflat and in salt marsh vegetation: identifying general relationships for habitat characterizations.  In: P. Meire & S. van Damme (eds),(2005) Ecological Structures and Functions in the Scheldt Estuary: from Past to Future.  Hydrobiologia (2005) 540:259–274 (PDF)

Defina, L. Carniello, S. Fagherazzi, and L. D’Alpaos.  (2007) Self-organization of shallow basins in tidal flats and salt marshes. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 112, F03001. (PDF)

Fagherazzi, Sergio, Luca Carniello, Luigi D’Alpaos, and Andrea Defina. (2006) Critical bifurcation of shallow microtidal landforms in tidal flats and salt marshes.  PNAS  103 (102):  8337–8341 (PDF)

Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.  Gulf of Maine Salt Marsh Monitoring Protocol.  Gulf of Maine Salt Marsh Monitoring Protocol. (PDF)

MA CZM Salt Marsh Monitoring Protocol (PDF)

N.C. DIVISION OF COASTAL MANAGEMENT.  Estuarine Shoreline Stabilization: Property Owner’s Guide to Determining the Most Appropriate Stabilization Method.  www.nccoastalmanagement.net(PDF)

NH DES Salt Marsh Monitoring Handbookl (PDF)

NH DES Salt Marsh Quick reference Field Guide (PDF)

NY State Saltmarsh Restoration and Monitoring Guidelines (PDF)

Restore America’s Esturaties.  The Economic and Market Value of Coasts and Estuaries:  What’s At Stake? Edited by Linwood H. Pendleton.  www.estuaries.org (PDF)

S.A. Talke, M.T. Stacey. (2003) The influence of oceanic swell on flows over an estuarine intertidal mudflat in San Francisco Bay.  Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 58 (2003) 541–554 (PDF)

Taylor, Peter. (2003) Salt Marsh Restoration: What Scientists Are Discovering Gulf of Maine Times. Fall 2003; 7 (3),www.gulfofmaine.org/times/fall2003/science_insights.html (PDF)

Teal, J. and M. (1983) Life and death of the salt marsh. NY, NY: Ballantine Books.


Bos, A., et al. (2007). "Ecosystem engineering by annual intertidal seagrass beds: Sediment accretion and modification." Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 74(1-2): 344-348. (PDF)

Burkholder, J. A. M., et al. (2007). "Seagrasses and eutrophication."Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 350(1-2): 46-72. (PDF)

Heck, K., et al. (2008). "Trophic transfers from seagrass meadows subsidize diverse marine and terrestrial consumers." Ecosystems 11(7): 1198-1210 (PDF)

Hemminga, M. A and C. M. Duarte. (2000) Seagrass Ecology. Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, UK.

Lee, Kun-Seep, Jung-Im Park.  An effective transplanting technique using shells for restoration of Zostera marina habitats.  Marine Pollution Bulletin 56 (2008) 1015–1021 (PDF)

Orth, R., et al. (2006). "A global crisis for seagrass ecosystems."Bioscience 56(12): 987-996. (PDF)

Short, F. , T. Carruthers, W. Dennison b, M. Waycott.  (2007) Global seagrass distribution and diversity: A bioregional model.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 350: 3–20. (PDF)

Short, F. T., R. C. Davis, B. S. Kopp, C. A. Short, D. M. Burdick (2002). Site-selection model for optimal transplantation of eelgrass Zostera marina in the northeastern US.  Mar Ecol Prog Ser. Vol. 227: 253–267 (PDF)

Short, F. T., et al. (1987). "Eelgrass wasting disease: cause and recurrence of a marine epidemic." Biological Bulletin SALT MARSH REHABILITATION, (2002).  JAMAICA COVE, KITTERY, MAINE.  PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD. (DOC)

Waycott, M., et al. (2009). "Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems." PNAS 106(30): 12377-1238 (PDF)


Shellfish maps of Boston harbor and MA coast

Courtesy of The Nature Conservancy.

Shellfish Habitat Suitability

Shellfish Aquaculture Leased Areas

Sediments and shellfish (Dennis, MA)

Sediments and shellfish (Wareham, MA)

Sediments and shellfish (Fairhaven, MA)

Designated shellfish growing areas

Municipal shellfish restoration opportunities

Shellfish habitat suitability

Seafloor sediment composition

Sediments and shellfish (Boston Harbor)

Sediments and shellfish (Plymouth Harbor 1)

Sediments and shellfish (Plymouth Harbor 2)

Sediments and Shellfish (Marshfield, MA)

Sediments and shellfish (Newbury/Rowley/Ipswich, MA)

Commercial shellfish licenses

Recreational shellfish licenses

Habitat suitability and designated growing areas

(Note: maps at 25% resolution for web delivery)

Abraham, B. et al.  (1986) Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Mid-Atlantic) SOFTSHELL CLAM Coastal Ecology Group.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceWaterways Experiment Station.  U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Biological Report 82(11.68) TR EL-82-4.  Lafayette, Louisiana. (PDF)

Beck, M et al. (2011) Oyster Reefs at Risk and Recommendations for Conservation, Restoration, and Management. BioScience 61, 2:107-116.

Coen, Loren D., Robert D. Brumbaugh,David Bushek, Ray Grizzle, Mark W. Luckenbach5, Martin H. Posey, Sean P. Powers, S. Gregory Tolley. (2007) Ecosystem services related to oyster restoration.   Mar Ecol Prog Ser.  Vol. 341: 303–307. (PDF)

Grizzle RE, Greene JK, Luckenbach MW, Coen LD (2006) A new in situ method for measuring seston uptake by suspension-feeding bivalve molluscs. J Shellfish Res 25: 643–649

Frankic, A.  2010. Shellfish restoration for Green Harbors proposal (draft). (PDF)

Ingersoll, Ernest.  1881. The Oyster Industry.  Bureau of Fisheries.  US Census Office. (Google Books)

Jones, Steve; Krahforst Christian; Harding Gareth. Distribution of mercury and trace metals in shellfish and sediments in the Gulf of Maine. ICMSS. (PDF)

Nelson, K. A., L. A. Leonard, M. H. Posey, T. D. Alphin & M. A. Mallin. 2004. Using transplanted oyster (Crassostrea virginica) beds to improve water quality in small tidal creeks: a pilot study. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.298:347-368. (PDF)

NOAA.  2005. SCIENCE-BASED RESTORATION MONITORING OF COASTAL HABITATS. Volume Two: Tools for Monitoring Coastal Habitats. Chapter 4, Oyster reefs (Download full report here.)

Portnoy, John. W. and Jenny R. Allen. 2006. Effects of tidal restrictions and potential benefits of tidal restoration on fecal coliform and shellfish-water quality. Journal of Shellfish Research 25(2): 609-617. (PDF)

R’EGNIER, C. BENOˆIT FONTAINE, AND PHILIPPE BOUCHET (2008). Not Knowing, Not Recording, Not Listing: Numerous Unnoticed Mollusk Extinctions. Conservation Biology, Volume 23, No. 5, 1214–1221 (PDF)

Wilcox, W.  Shellfish as a Means to Reduce Nitrogen Impacts in Coastal Waters. REVISED December 2009. (PDF)