Watch: Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge fights sea level rise

Staff at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge see the effects of climate change right in front of them in the form of sea level rise. Eventually, they know that if nothing is done, the marshes on Maryland’s Eastern Shore will all turn to open water. The problem is, the refuge is home to eagles, ospreys and dozens of other species, as well as many migratory birds that use the area as a stopover on their journeys. The landscape faces threats both from sea level rise, which takes away the marsh area and kills nearby trees, as well as the invasive grass phragmites threatens their habitats.

But it’s not just the landscape that’s threatened here. Scientists have uncovered artifacts showing that Ben Ross, father of famous abolitionist Harriett Tubman, lived there. If the area were to go under water, some of that history will be hard to uncover. Staff at the refuge is working to restore some of the marsh habitat.

Read more about how sea level rise is impacting national wildlife refuges, including Blackwater, in the Ecological Society of America.

Watch the ABC News segment below for more.

Header Image: Staff members are restoring the marshes in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge that are facing sea level rise. Credit: angela n.