Restoring Salt Marsh Dieback through Human Crab Predation

In many conservation and restoration projects, ecologists work hard to protect native things or bring native things back to a place. But this last year, Nantucket Conservation Foundation Staff acted as predators and aggressively removed a native crab from a few salt marshes in Polpis Harbor. Our prey? The purple marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum). The…

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Salt Marsh Dieback and the Purple Marsh Crab on Nantucket

Unexplained die off of salt marsh plants, particularly along creek edges and the low tide line, has become an increasing issue along the New England coast since the 1990s. Along marsh creek banks and harbor edges, salt marsh plants (particularly salt marsh cordgrass or Spartina alterniflora) began disappearing, leaving behind large swaths of exposed soil, filled…

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