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Seminar to Look at Fate of Chesapeake Bay Seagrasses as Sea Levels Rise

A public seminar at Old Dominion University's Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography (CCPO) on Monday, Jan. 24, will focus on the effect of sea level rise and coastal erosion on coastal plants such as the seagrasses that grow near the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay.

Evamaria Koch, a researcher with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences, will present the seminar beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Room 3200 of the Research Innovation Building 1 in University Village. There is no charge to attend the seminar or a reception with refreshments that will begin at 3.

Koch's research indicates that coastal plant communities of the Chesapeake Bay may not simply migrate following the shoreline as sea levels rise. Shoreline retreat leads not only to the loss of marshes, but also to the loss of adjacent seagrasses, according to the scientist. Additionally, she says shoreline hardening, also a result of sea level rise, has indirect and negative effects on seagrasses.

Still, Koch believes there are factors that will prevent wholesale losses of seagrasses in the bay if there is a significant rise in the water level.

This article was posted on: January 20, 2011

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