Glacial Rebound in the Mendenhall Wetlands

This report contains GIS (Geographic Information Systems) mapping and analysis for the Mendenhall Wetland State Game Refuge.  You’ll find information on glacial rebound, vegetation types, tidal elevations, and glacial rebound, all supported by GIS maps and detailed photographs.  Conservation value for the land is also discussed.

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Description

From Richard Carstensen: 

“The Mendenhall Wetlands complex has the second greatest acreage of vegetated tidal salt marsh of all estuaries in Southeast Alaska (exceeded only by the Stikine River marshes). It ranks 7th in extent of unvegetated tidal flats. It is widely acknowledged to be one of the key migratory waterbird stopover locations of coastal Alaska. Recreational value is very high, and will continue to grow. Estuaries are among the world’s most dynamic habitats, and nowhere is this more true than in northern Southeast Alaska. As land here rises from glacial rebound, tidal salt marshes change dramatically. Vegetation communities migrate perceptibly seaward from decade to decade. And where property boundaries are based upon tidal elevation, land may also change ownership.”