Participatory Science ProjectSalt Marsh Census
  • People walking on the boardwalk through the salt marsh

    People walking on the boardwalk through the salt marsh. 

  • Staff listening to start-of-the-day instructions

    Volunteers, interns, and staff listening to start-of-the-day instructions and announcements

  • Walking out onto the boardwalk

    Volunteers and staff carrying equipment to the site

  • Measuring and recording

    Counting, measuring, and recording! 

  • Phragmites Chambers

    These are some of the bigger chambers for Phragmites australis. Phragmites grows up to 16 feet tall! 

  • Intern with an umbrella on the boardwalk

    Don't forget about protecting yourself from the sun! 

  • Lab work

    Doing some lab work! Here we measure and prepare the samples for storage.

About the Project

The Global Change Research Wetland (affectionately known as GCREW) has been studying the effect of gases on marsh growth since 1987 and continues to this day. Salt marshes are unique ecosystems that serve as nurseries and habitat for wildlife. They also protect coastal communities from things like flooding and storms.

We want to know how the plants in marshes like ours will react to a changing climate. Atmospheric changes in gases and sea level rise could have a big impact on where, how quickly, and how much plants in salt marshes grow.


There are three projects going on at GCREW as of summer 2015. The longest running project involves studying the effects of increased carbon dioxide (CO2) on plants. This project began in 1987 and is the longest running project of its kind.