Water Art – Tidal Salt Marshes

 Salt Marsh Defined

A salt marsh is a grassy area near the coastline that is greatly affected by the tides. In Delaware alone, wetlands cover about 25% of the state.  These wetlands are normally covered and exposed daily by the tide and are predominantly covered by the tall form of Smooth Cordgrass. It is during these high tides when the salt marshes show their full beauty through the marriage of ocean and land. They offer photographers and artists a vast canvas of one of nature’s most precious gifts.

Dianna Poindexter’s fine art collection, Salt Marshes, was inspired by the beauty of these salt marshes, specifically within Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge and Gordon’s Pond State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. We invite you to browse her salt marsh collection and enjoy the beauty of the eastern shore salt marshes.

 

Beyond Art – Why Salt Marshes are so Important

Misty Morning Marsh - Marsh Art - Water Art - LandscapeSalt marshes are among the most productive ecosystems on earth. The coastal location of salt marshes and their productivity make them important not only as a part of the natural world but also to humans –

  • Tidal salt marshes found along the ocean shore protect coastlines in middle and high latitudes worldwide. They buffer stormy seas, slow shoreline erosion, and are able to absorb excess nutrients before they reach the oceans and estuaries.
  • Tidal marshes also provide vital food and habitat for clams, crabs, and juvenile fish, as well as offering shelter and nesting sites for several species of migratory waterfowl.
  • Overall, they serve as essential habitats for a number of regionally, nationally, and globally rare or otherwise significant species.

 

Supporting Our Salt Marshes

Pressure to fill in these wetlands for coastal development has led to significant and continuing losses of tidal marshes, especially along the Atlantic coast.  Pollution, especially near urban areas, also remains a serious threat to these ecosystems.

Fortunately, most states have enacted special laws to protect tidal marshes, but much diligence is needed to assure that these protective measures are actively enforced.

5 Element Studios applauds and supports organizations that are committed to protecting and preserving our precious salt marshes:

America’s Wetland Foundation

The Mississippi River Delta is one of the largest threatened ecosystems on the planet. This valuable landscape extending along Louisiana’s coast is disappearing at a rate of over 16 square miles per year, or the equivalent to a football field’s worth of land every hour. To help or learn more please visit their website.

Wetlands International

Wetlands International is the only global not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of wetlands. They are deeply concerned about the loss and deterioration of wetlands such as lakes, marshes and rivers. Thier vision is a world where wetlands are treasured and nurtured for their beauty, the life they support and the resources they provide. To help or learn more please visit their website.

Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. The vision of Ducks Unlimited is wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.  To help or learn more please visit their website.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) 

In the four centuries since the explorations of Captain John Smith, the Chesapeake Bay has lost half of its forested shoreline, more than half its wetlands, nearly 80 percent of its underwater grasses, and more than 98 percent of its oysters. Across the watershed, approximately 1.7 million acres of once-untouched land were developed by 1950. Development has accelerated dramatically since then, with an additional 2.7 million acres built on or paved over between 1950 and 1980. The human pressure of these changes has imposed heavy negative impacts on the health and resilience of the Bay. Although we will never return to the pristine territory explored by Captain John Smith during those early voyages, CBF is fighting to return this fragile ecosystem to balance. To help or learn more please visit their website.

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