West Coast
Erik Anderson / KPBS

CA - San Diego Coastal Marshes May Become Important Tools to Battle Climate Change

Matthew Costa stepped gingerly into a little pocket wetland near the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The squishy salt marsh is more than just a patch of habitat in the intertidal zone.

“Just watch out,” said Costa, a postdoctoral researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, as he warned a helper. “Watch out for birds.”

Endangered ridgeway rails like hiding in the pickleweed that covers the soft, moist ground nestled between train tracks and a busy Del Mar street. Costa stopped at the water’s edge and walked inland

“I think this is a good spot. It's 15 meters,” Costa said.

He is here hoping to unlock information about this salty marsh. Information that cannot be seen by the thousands of people who pass by each day.

“We’ve got all these plants here, underneath there’s sort of a real muddy layer of sediment. There are lot of snails and creatures living on the mud,” Costa said as he picked up a small ball of dirt.

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