Salt-water intrusion (SWI) is a new challenge for farmers on the Eastern Shore. As sea levels continue to rise, more and more farm fields are becoming increasingly “salty,” often resulting in reduced and even complete loss of productivity. To make matters worse, there is evidence that salt accumulation also increases phosphorus loads to downstream waters. In the case of the Chesapeake Bay, this could reverse recent restoration efforts and hard fought water quality improvements.
Kate Tully, Keryn Gedan, and others are studying this problem; and their work aims to provide solutions that both help farmers and mitigate potential water quality degradation. Read more about their work in recent articles in NPR and The Atlantic.
This week, I helped Kate and Keryn install new groundwater wells at several of their sites. I had a great time and definitely learned a lot about agriculture on the Eastern Shore and salt-water intrusion. Below are a few pictures!
- By Nate Jones (postdoc at SESYNC)