Ghost Forests of the Mid-Atlantic: How Sea-level Rise Is Killing Our Coastlines

Up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States, ocean levels are rising at rates faster than just about anywhere in the world. Coastal forests are dying off as a result–an early warning, if people will pay attention, of the disruptive changes in store for both natural ecosystems and human habitation. Dying coastal forests herald other coastal landscape changes: after the forests start to die, so do the marshes that live in zones between ocean and forest. As sea-level rise and human development combine to narrow the range of coastal ecosystems, problems arise for local flora and fauna, natural nutrient cycles, and coastal communities.


Greta Friar

About Greta Friar

Greta Friar is a science writer living in the Boston area. She can be reached by email at or on twitter @gretafriar.


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