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Marsh Madness 2021

March 22, 2021

While the teams duel it out on the basketball court, this week we’re keeping score of all the ways marsh habitat plays an important role in the protection and restoration work we do for communities, fish, and wildlife.

Gulf saltmarsh

During the week of March 22, NOAA is taking a court-side look at how we protect and restore marsh habitat with an aim to sustain fisheries, recover protected species, and maintain resilient coastal ecosystems and communities. Follow #MarshMadness on @NOAAHabitat!

Marsh Habitat Features

Protecting Coastal Blue Carbon Through Habitat Conservation

By absorbing and storing carbon dioxide, coastal habitats (like marshes) play an important role in protecting the climate. 

Learn the basics about coastal blue carbon and what NOAA Fisheries is doing to protect coastal blue carbon habitats

A salt marsh
Coastal marshes at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. Credit: Jeffrey Brainard

What’s Wild in Our Wetlands?

Marshes and swamps are two kinds of wetlands that look like land but are sometimes so wet that fish live in many of them. As a matter of fact, many fish couldn’t survive without wetlands!

Explore our interactive map to find out what kind of fish might be in your local wetland

Great blue heron eating fish in salt marsh.
Great blue heron eating a fish in a salt marsh.

5 Reasons Why We Love Wetlands

Wetlands—including marshes, mangroves, swamps, deltas, and floodplains—provide valuable benefits to fish, protected species, and communities. 

Read more about why we love them and how we work to conserve, protect, and restore them

Dike Trail of the Mendenhall Wetlands in Juneau, Alaska.

Interview with a Habitat: Wetland

During Habitat Month 2019, we interviewed different types of habitats and asked about the ways they provide numerous benefits to communities and our economy.

Pull on your waterproof boots and hop in an airboat to join NOAA as we wade into Louisiana’s coastal wetlands for an interview

la_gulf_spill_restoration_barataria_basin_marsh_islands new belt2.png
Coastal wetlands in the Barataria Basin of the Gulf of Mexico.


The Value of Coastal Wetland Habitat

Nearly 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands are lost in the United States each year to development, draining, erosion, and sinkage. That’s close to 70 basketball courts every hour.

See the results of our efforts to protect and restore wetland habitats



Webinar: Understanding the Role Coastal Marshes Play in Protecting Communities from Storm Surge and Flooding

On March 31, subject matter experts will explain how state of the art modeling methods are used to simulate marsh vegetation and storm impacts produced by a series of past and future storm scenarios.

Register here to attend the webinar and learn about how this research is informing planning for the marsh and shoreline infrastructure

A wetland is an area of land that is saturated with water, characterized by plants that can tolerate wet soils​ and low oxygen levels at their roots.


Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on March 22, 2021

Habitat Conservation