Use artificial barriers to block pollution
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Artificial barriers such as sand bags, rocks, temporary berms, bundles of sticks, plastic curtains, booms, absorbent matting or ditches could be used to block out pollution from a focal marsh or swamp. Barriers can isolate pollution and prevent it reaching the site at all, or slow it down so it has time to break down before reaching the focal site. Barriers are likely to be most effective as a short-term intervention to extreme pollution events e.g. oil or chemical spills (Hoff & Michel 2014). In 2010, over 20 km of sand berms were built to protect coastal marshes in Louisiana from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (Martínez et al. 2012). In Australia, temporary banks or flow regulators are used to contain the acid water and toxic metals released when acid sulfate soils are rewetted (Baldwin 2011).
To be summarized as evidence for this action, studies must have evaluated the effect of barriers on marsh or swamp vegetation – not just the effectiveness of barriers for isolating pollutants.
Baldwin D. (2011) National Guidance for the Management of Acid Sulfate Soils in Inland Aquatic Ecosystems, Environment Protection and Heritage Council and the Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, Australia.
Hoff R, & Michel J. (2014) Oil Spills in Mangroves: Planning & Response Considerations. US Department of Commerce.
Martínez M.L., Feagin R.A., Yeager K.M., Day J., Costanza R., Harris J.A., Hobbs R.J., López-Portillo J., Walker I.J., Higgs E., Moreno-Casasola P., Sheinbaum J. & Yáñez-Arancibia A. (2012) Artificial modifications of the coast in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: quick solutions or long-term liabilities? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10, 44–49.