Investigating the Interconnectedness of Climate Change, Nuisance Mosquito Populations, and Long-term Resilience of Coastal Salt Marsh Systems

2015 Aerial Photography of Marsh

Investigators: Richard G. Lathrop1, Rachael Sacatelli1, Dina Fonseca2, Brian Johnson2, Michael J. Kennish3, Lisa Auermuller4, Scott Crans5

1 Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis, Rutgers University
2 Center for Vector Biology, Rutgers University
3 Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
4 Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve
5 State Office of Mosquito Control, NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Ongoing project is a NOAA NERRS Science Collaborative Program


The Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve convened a roundtable of mosquito control agencies to examine the intersection between sea level rise, salt marsh structure, habitat modification/ restoration, and nuisance mosquito populations which can pose serious health risks to humans, livestock, and pets. Chief concerns are how climate change and sea level rise may affect marsh habitats and consequent mosquito production but also how past physical alterations to reduce mosquito habitat affect the ability of salt marshes to maintain their relative elevation position and thereby their long term resiliency in the face of sea level rise.


Recognizing the valuable role that salt marshes play in buffering coastal communities, coastal decision-makers are increasingly advocating for the restoration of salt marshes. While the thin-layer application of sediment/dredge spoil as a means of supplementing vertical accretion processes is receiving widespread interest, it could also affect mosquito production. The inter-connection between thin-layer and other marsh restoration as well as mosquito habitat modification and population control techniques will be examined. Using an adapted mediated modeling collaborative approach, mosquito control agencies and other land management partners (ends users) are participating in the design and implementation of a research program to inform management actions, plans and strategies.


Rick Lathrop
Director, Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA)

Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA)
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
14 College Farm Road, Cook Campus
New Brunswick, NJ USA 08901-8551
Tel: 848/932-1582
Fax: 732/932-2587

Web site composed by the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA), © 2017. Page contents last updated 09/10/2017.