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Marsh Madness 2023

March 27, 2023

While players duel it out on the 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.

A birds-eye view of an expanse of dark green water in the foreground with a bright green marsh in the mid-ground and a blue sky above A salt marsh in Texas, along the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Pedro Brandão

From March 27–April 3, NOAA is taking a court-side look at how we protect and restore marsh habitat to sustain fisheries, recover protected species, and maintain resilient coastal ecosystems and communities. Follow #MarshMadness on @NOAAHabitat!

Marsh Habitat Features

Video: Improving Habitat for Community Resilience: The Middle Peninsula Habitat Focus Area

Join NOAA Fisheries as we visit the Middle Peninsula (Virginia) Habitat Focus Area to learn about the challenges the area faces from climate change—and the projects we’re working on with partners to enhance coastal resilience. Watch this video to learn about efforts to restore oyster reefs and shorelines, protecting wetlands and the coastal communities that live there. Work is already showing results!

Put on your waders and learn about habitat conservation in Virginia's Middle Peninsula

5 Lovely Reasons Why We "Heart" Estuaries

Estuaries, where rivers meet the sea—have marshes, mangroves, swamps, deltas, and floodplains—that all 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.

$64 Million Approved for Two Habitat Restoration Projects in Coastal Louisiana

NOAA works through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act Program to support resilient communities and sustainable fisheries in Louisiana.

Find out how we are restoring habitat along the Louisiana coast

Aerial view of buildings lining the water, surrounded by wetlands
The East Delacroix project will restore habitat adjacent to a levee that protects the fishing community of Delacroix, and to the roadway that serves as the sole hurricane evacuation route. (Credit: Coastal National Elevation Database Applications Project)

Great Meadows Marsh Project is Restoring Salt Marsh Habitat and Building Resilience in Coastal Connecticut

Restoration of nearly 40 acres of salt marsh and other coastal habitats will help Great Meadows Marsh in Long Island Sound respond to sea level rise. The effort is supported by funding from three pollution cases in Connecticut.

Find out how NOAA and partners are revitalizing salt marsh to combat sea level rise

Construction equipment and workers in a wetland
Creek construction to restore normal tidal flow in and out of Great Meadows Marsh. Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Jim Turek.

Does Rebuilding an Island Rebuild Fish Habitat?

Scientists from the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office are investigating whether fish are using restored areas at Maryland’s Poplar Island.

Hop onboard and see how scientists are monitoring fish species around the rebuilt island

A man and a woman on a center-console boat at night-time. The man, wearing a red lifejacket, is driving the boat while the woman, in an orange rain jacket, holds an illuminated flood light.
The team tracks down a sampling site in the pre-dawn hours. Photo: NOAA Fisheries/NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office

Recommendations for Reducing Wetland Loss in Coastal Watersheds of the United States

NOAA and federal partners release a new guidance document detailing steps needed to save our disappearing coastal wetlands.

Learn more about how the recommendations can help our coasts

An aerial view of a patchwork of grassy wetlands on open water. Credit: Hank Carter.
The coastal wetlands around Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Credit: Hank Carter

NOAA’s Largest Wetland Restoration Project On Track for Early Completion

NOAA and partners began construction in May 2022 on a massive 1,200 acre marsh creation project in Louisiana’s Barataria Basin to create habitat, reduce erosion, and protect communities. The project is ahead of schedule. 

Paddle down the Mississippi River with us and see large-scale restoration in action

an aerial view of a marshland under construction, mostly filled in.
An aerial view of one piece of the Upper Barataria Marsh Creation project shows a marsh "cell" nearly fully filled in with sediment pumped from the Mississippi River 13 miles away. March 2023. Photo: Patrick Quigley/Gulf Coast Air Photo

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.

Interview with a Habitat: Wetland

During a recent Habitat Month, 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.

Coastal Wetlands: Too Valuable to Lose

Wetlands are a pivotal part of the natural system, providing tremendous benefits for coastal ecosystems and communities. They provide us with clean water, flood protection, abundant fisheries, and more.

Learn more about all of the ways that coastal wetlands benefit our day-to-day lives

aerialmarshboats Credit State of Louisiana 750x500.jpg


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


Last updated by Office of Habitat Conservation on March 31, 2023