Chesapeake Bay and Global Warming - Delaware Bay

As sea level rises, Delaware Bay's marshes--which provide valuable habitat for waterfowl and nursery ground for fish--will be inundated with greater frequency.

In Delaware Bay, a 27.2-inch rise in sea-level would mean:

• A 92 percent decline in brackish marsh.
• A 3-fold increase in saltmarsh.
• A 13 percent increase in open water.

In some areas, the marshes will be able to migrate inland, allowing continued viability of the habitat, however it will contribute to a loss of nearly 41,000 acres of undeveloped dry land.

In total, 41 percent of marshes are predicted to be lost across the region by 2100. In addition to supporting many waterfowl species, these coastal marshes are important nursery and spawning grounds for multiple fish species, including Atlantic menhaden, bluefish, flounder, spot, mullet, croaker and rockfish.

For more in-depth information about how the Chesapeake Bay is being impacted by global warming, check out the following reports:

Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Habitats of the Chesapeake Bay: A Summary - May, 2008
NWF commissioned a modeling analysis of how Chesapeake Bay habitats will be affected by sea-level rise in the coming century.

The Chesapeake Bay and Global Warming: A Paradise Lost for Hunters, Anglers, and Outdoor Enthusiasts? - September 2007
NWF analyzed the many global warming impacts on the Chesapeake Bay.

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