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The East River Marsh (ERM) in Guilford/Madison is among Connecticut’s largest and most ecologically significant coastal marshes. Together with adjacent associated habitats including inland wetlands, coastal woodlands, and grasslands, the marsh-upland complex provides critical ecosystem services such as fish and wildlife nursery habitat, water quality enhancement, shoreline flood and erosion control, and outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.
Although among Connecticut’s most productive ecosystems, coastal marshes like the ERM are also extremely vulnerable to a more recently recognized threat: accelerating rates of long term sea-level-rise (SLR). To improve understanding of the value of and threats to the ERM, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is partnering with Connecticut’s local and national Audubon Societies and the Towns of Guilford and Madison to inform stakeholders such as marsh-front property owners about how the marsh may respond to SLR and what can be done to protect this extraordinary natural resource. Through an improved understanding of existing and projected future marsh conditions, the partnership hopes to develop a Resilient ERM Conservation Strategy to sustain the marsh complex’s ecosystem services.
To learn more, request an ERM Fact Sheet and RSVP to attend the partnership’s public kick-off meeting, contact the Menunkatuck Audubon’s Carl Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or CT DEEP’s David Kozak (email@example.com). The meeting begin at 7 pm Tuesday, April 7th at the Nathaniel Green Community Center’s Menunkatuck Room at 35 Church Street, Guilford, CT.