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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Final Report: Intertidal Biodiversity in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The final report for the project “A Novel Monitoring Framework to Assess Intertidal Biodiversity in Mixed Coarse Substrate Habitats Across the Boston Harbor Islands” is now available. The project, led by NE CASC Science Coordinator Michelle Staudinger, represents a partnership between NE CASC and the National Park Service. It assessed intertidal biodiversity in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area in the face of rising threats from sea level rise and coastal storms. Project partners have been seeking climate adaptive solutions that protect and sustain critical ecological and cultural resources on the islands. A range of coastal adaptation efforts are currently under consideration, including increased shoreline armoring and nature-based adaptation solutions.

Any action taken in the coastal zone will require an assessment of environmental and ecological communities that could potentially be impacted by restoration or adaptation projects. The report summarizes project activities conducted from 2020- 2022, including two partner workshops, and represents the conclusion of the first of two phases of work. Historical data collected in the urban park was synthesized for two purposes: 1) to create an inventory of native and nonindigenous species; and 2) to inform the development of novel monitoring protocol to track changes from gradual climate impacts as well as in anticipation of adaptation projects. This summer, new data collection will be undertaken to assess current biodiversity baselines across multiple islands using the novel protocol developed and described in the report.