The Tidal and Nontidal Freshwater Marsh Ecosystem Team now has recommendations for revisions to your cooperative’s Tidal and Nontidal Freshwater Marsh Indicators. These changes are now open for comment until Jan 15th. You can either comment at the bottom of this post or email me directly (

Here are the proposed changes to the indicators:

Index of tidal and nontidal freshwater marsh birds

Proposed change: Reduce species list to King rail, Least bittern, American black duck, and Northern Pintail. This index uses NLCD and the published literature to define increasingly restrictive relationships between these species and marsh patch size. The lowest threshold (<5ha) represents areas where all the species in the index are much less likely to occur, the middle threshold (5 – 20 ha) is based on the home ranges of the species, and the highest threshold (>20ha) is based on increase occupancy by the most selective species in the index (King Rail). This reduced set of species can be modeled and monitored reasonably well across the area and can still represent different levels of ecosystem integrity.

Acres of tidal freshwater marsh

Reason for selection:

Overall acreage provides an indicator of whether tidal freshwater marsh being inundated by sea level rise are being replaced or restored somewhere else, is well monitored, and resonates with a diversity of audiences.

Proposed change: Modify this indicator to include all freshwater marsh (not just tidal). Estimating the line between tidal and nontidal freshwater marsh is particularly challenging and measuring acreage of freshwater marsh overall should still provide a good indicator of whether freshwater marsh being lost to sea level rise is being replaced or restored somewhere else.

View all the data layers

Indicators to be used to calculate Tidal and nontidal freshwater marsh Integrity: