James Kerr is a master's student, studying at the University of Portsmouth. He is currently working on his dissertation research project which is looking at the value of ecosystem services provided by Salt marshes, particularly the Keyhaven salt marshes as they have interest to him personally, in terms of future management with regards to sea level rise and erosion.
Previous studies have looked at monetary values but these ecosystems provide much more benefits to society such as, recreational value, mental health value, physical values and the unseen benefits such as carbon capture and storage. Due to sea level rise and salt marsh erosion, there will slowly be a loss of salt marsh which brings difficulty with future flood defence, conservation conflicts, habitat loss compensation and long term funding of sea defence.
James is collecting data from visitors to Keyhaven through a questionnaire, researching the value and knowledge of salt marsh ecosystems services. This will hopefully reveal the different user groups knowledge of issues with the salt marshes, awareness of the benefits and the most valued services which could potentially benefit future management decisions.