BLT 2024 SPEAKER SERIES: Salt Marshes and Sea-Level Rise: In Branford and Beyond!

Branford Land Trust Speaker Series Welcomes Dr. Sarah Crosby from The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Have you seen the miniature greenhouses in the Sybil Creek Marsh behind Lenny’s? Come find out about the salt marsh and sea-level rise research being done right here in Branford. The Branford Land Trust’s 2024 Speaker Series is excited to welcome Dr. Sarah Crosby, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s Director of Conservation and Policy, for a presentation about “Salt Marshes and Sea-Level Rise: In Branford and Beyond!” on Thursday, March 21 from 6-7:30pm at the James Blackstone Memorial Library.

Dr. Crosby’s talk and PowerPoint presentation will focus on work that has been conducted at the BLT’s Sybil Creek Marsh behind Lenny’s. The research project — being conducted by The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Harbor Watch, Sacred Heart University, and Northeastern University — aims to improve our understanding of how salt marshes will respond to rising temperatures. In this study, they are experimentally warming sections of salt marsh smooth cordgrass using miniature ‘greenhouses’ to simulate future temperatures and measuring changes in plant growth, flowering, genetics, and other factors that may affect the resilience of these marshes to sea-level rise. This research will be used to improve salt marsh management and restoration efforts in the future.

Dr. Crosby is an ecologist focused on conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems. As The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s Director of Conservation and Policy, she is responsible for leading the Aquarium’s conservation initiatives and strategy, with a focus on the ecosystem of Long Island Sound. Prior to joining the Aquarium in 2022, Crosby served for 7 years as the Director of the Harbor Watch program in Westport, which focuses on Long Island Sound water quality and the application of data to watershed management. Crosby’s approach has been to build collaborative initiatives bridging academic institutions, conservation organizations, businesses, and government agencies at the federal, state and local levels. Crosby received a B.A. in biology from Tufts University in 2006, a M.Sc. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island in 2009, and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Brown University in 2015.

The Branford Land Trust Winter 2024 Speaker Series is made possible by a grant from the Branford Community Foundation and Guilford Savings Bank. Save the Date for these additional presentations: APRIL 18 – “What to Do with Your Banana Peels in Branford” by Malaine Trecoske and “Sustainable Food Practices in Sweden – and at Branford High School” by Erica O’Brien; and MAY 13 – Branford Land Trust Annual Meeting, “An Introduction to the CT National Estuarine Research Reserve: A state and federal partnership for coastal research, education, training, and stewardship” with Kevin O’Brien manager of the National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Dr. Crosby’s presentation, “Salt Marshes and Sea-Level Rise: In Branford and Beyond!,” is free and open to the public. It will be held in-person at the Blackstone Library (758 Main St, Branford).