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Karim Alizad will present his research on Wetland Response to Sea-Level Rise at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Virtual Symposium

Karim Alizad, researcher contracted to the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, will present a talk about coastal wetland response to sea-level rise in Northwest Florida at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Virtual Research Symposium, 2/18 – 2/19/2021.

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) virtual research symposium will highlight recent research conducted within the NERR and adjacent areas, featuring sessions on fisheries management, restoration science, climate change and sea level rise impacts, as well as updates on oyster restoration projects and other large initiatives.

Of the numerous estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico, the Apalachicola microtidal fluvial estuary is one of the most vulnerable to sea-level rise (SLR) and other climate change effects. This region is one of the most important sea food industry centers in Florida and the US, which depends heavily on wetland existence. Assessing the hydrodynamic and ecological processes, for example, influencing the region’s natural resources can help stakeholders develop potential restoration solutions, especially in the face of rising sea levels. 

Karim Alizad’s presentation titled, “Northwest Florida Coastal Wetland Response to Sea-Level Rise Using Apalachicola-Big-Bend (ABB) Hydrodynamic Model” will include future projections of the wetland system using a hydrodynamic model in the Apalachicola-Big-Bend (ABB) region of Northwest Florida. This model was incorporated to assess wetlands in this vulnerable microtidal system employing the integrated Hydro-MEM model (Alizad et al. 2016) across two geographic longitudinal degrees with varying tide ranges. The model results demonstrate how marsh coverage and productivity as well as marsh vegetation type in the ABB region will change under three different NOAA SLR scenarios (0.5 m, 1.0 m, and 1.5 m). This information will be shared with stakeholders at the symposium to help inform coastal wetland restoration plans for the region.

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