Gretchen LeMaistre

In March 2019, I  took several boat rides around Turnbull Bay, a salt and freshwater estuary in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Having grown up in Florida, it is for me a place of memory and the marking of time. My family home was destroyed by a hurricane Irma river surge in 2017. It seems I often hear the words, "This is all gonna be underwater soon."

Turnbull Bay is just one example of a Florida landscape that is transforming rapidly from a salt marsh to a mangrove ecosystem. Recent hurricanes and warmer temperatures have allowed invasive mangrove trees to take root further and further north. As they announce the troubling arrival of climate change, mangroves also provide benefits of carbon storage and storm water protection. I am interested in the way that humans and wildlife coexist in these habitats, with all that is on the horizon.