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Scientists studying salt marshes at the Plum Island Ecosystem (PIE) Long Term Ecological Research site have long wondered why the marshes were disintegrating and dying at a faster rate than normal. Writing in the journal Nature this week the scientists, led by Linda Deegan of PIE and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass., report that nutrients—such as nitrogen and phosphorus from septic and sewer systems and lawn fertilizers—may be contributing to the salt marsh loss.

Read Why Are Our Salt Marshes Falling Apart?

Watch video interview with Linda Deegan at Plum Island Estuary: