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Maritime Forests

2 minutes

A maritime forest is coastal and is influenced by sea spray. You start with vegetation-like shrubbery that is a little salt tolerant. As you get further from the ocean, you'll start getting larger trees that protect the trees behind them. These areas are not found very many places up the coast, so they're an oasis for wildlife. You'll find freshwater swamp, maple swamp forest in the middle of the reserve. You're never more than half a mile from the ocean, but the habitat changes are impressive. Many years ago, the entire barrier island would have been covered with forests like these. Over time, the areas have been developed for houses and commercial development. Barrier islands migrate, and when the island itself moves, the trees can't move. As the island moves, the trees are left eventually in a changing habitat. You can see that with the stumps on the beach. Maritime forests are important for coastal resilience. They stabilize the shoreline, they provide filtering effects, shelter for the marsh behind the maritime forest, and just stabilize the whole region. I think it's important to have areas like this preserved for people to see what the islands were like before they were developed-- provide that outdoor laboratory, that educational space to take school kids and to do research.

(Describer) Title: OceanToday.noaa.gov. Logos are shown for the Smithsonian and NOAA. Accessibility provided by the US Department of Education.

Accessibility provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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A maritime forest is a forest that is on the coast and is influenced by sea spray. These areas are not found in very many places, and they serve as an oasis for wildlife. They are important for coastal resilience, and they help stabilize the shoreline.

Media Details

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