Saltwater Intrusion Impacting Coastal Farmers

One of the initial impacts of climate change is saltwater intrusion, reports the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism. Atlantic and Gulf Coast farmers are losing the use of farmland due to salt that’s arriving not only with storms and tides, but also through underground saltwater intrusion. Saltwater intrusion is causing damage to forests and farm fields, making land unusable for crops and, in some cases, not able to grow weeds. Salt soils are also causing problems for agriculture in other regions, such as California’s Central Valley, where already-salty soils are accumulating more salt due to irrigation and farming practices. Researchers are working to understand the extent of the problem and identify salt-tolerant crops and alternative land uses that could help affected farmers.