Coastal Farmers Being Driven Off Their Lands as Salt Poisons the Soil

A story by the University of Maryland's Howard Center for Investigative Journalism details work by RFF Senior Fellow Rebecca Epanchin-Niell.

View on U-Maryland's Howard Center for Investigative Journalism website


Nov. 23, 2020

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U-Maryland's Howard Center for Investigative Journalism

"In Maryland, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found a drop in farm acreage of 9% in between 2012 and 2017 in Somerset County, a place whose population also has declined below its 1900 Census tally. Somerset’s loss of uplands over eight years was nearing 2.4 square miles, most of it farmlands, according to newly published research by wetlands ecologist Keryn Gedan of George Washington University, and Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, of Resources for the Future, members of Tully’s research team.

Tully and colleagues are seeking crops that can tolerate salt even as she and other researchers unravel the complex changes in soil chemistry as salt creeps farther inland. The salty and wet conditions can trigger release of phosphorus and nitrogen stored in fields from farming, polluting the surface and groundwater."

Read the full article here.

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