collaborative research at the Reserve

Piermont Marsh Protection Study

Coastal wetlands help safeguard New York’s communities from storms.

For the Village of Piermont, understanding exactly how much the adjacent Piermont Marsh protected them was key.

Informed by years of engagement with the Village of Piermont, and more than a decade of the Reserve’s gold-standard monitoring data, the Piermont Marsh Storm Protection Study sought answers:

How much protection does Piermont Marsh provide, and how can it be managed effectively for coastal protection in the future?

The Piermont Marsh Storm Protection Study, a research project on the type of protection Piermont Marsh provides the Village of Piermont from storm-driven flood and waves, began in Fall 2016 and concluded in Fall 2020. Dr. Y. Peter Sheng of the University of Florida was the principal investigator.

As coastal communities strive to safeguard themselves from increasing storm risks, one approach is to restore and manage natural features, including coastal wetlands such as Piermont Marsh. Residents believe Piermont Marsh significantly reduced wave and flood debris damage on the abutting Village of Piermont during Hurricane Sandy. This research study is an outcome of the fact-finding meetings held in regard to the management of Piermont Marsh. The project was a collaborative partnership between scientists from universities and federal agencies, resource managers, community members, and a collaboration expert. 

The project designed and applied state-of-the-art predictive models to evaluate different approaches to managing the marsh. As a result, marsh managers will better understand coastal wetlands’ role in enhancing community resilience to storm events and will have the tools and knowledge to make sound decisions.

project documents

Check back in January 2021 for other resources on this project, including a Piermont Marsh Coastal GeoTool. For questions on the research contact Y. Peter Sheng, Ph.D.

The project team held a virtual meeting for Village residents, stakeholders, marsh managers and other end users presenting:

  1. Findings on the current and future role of the marsh in coastal protection.
  2. Current condition of marsh vegetation and information on restoration efforts.
  3. Village’s perspective of what was learned from Dr. Sheng’s study.

This two-page fact sheet describes the project and its background.


  • Yang, K., V. A. Paramygin, and Y. P. Sheng, 2019: An objective and efficient method for estimating probabilistic coastal inundation hazards. Nat. Hazards99, 1105–1130.  AVAILABLE HERE
  • Sheng, Y. P., Rivera-Nieves, A. A., Zou, R., Paramygin, V. A., Angelini, C., & Sharp, S. J. (2021). Invasive Phragmites provides superior wave and surge damage protection relative to native plants during storms. Environmental Research Letters, 16(5), 054008. AVAILABLE HERE
  • Sheng, Y. P., Rivera-Nieves, A. A., Zou, R., & Paramygin, V. A. (2021). Role of wetlands in reducing structural loss is highly dependent on characteristics of storms and local wetland and structure conditions. Scientific reports, 11(1), 1-14. AVAILABLE HERE
  • Sheng, Y.P., Zou, R., Rivera-Nieves, A., Paramygin, V.A. (Submitted). Surge, Tide, Wave, and Role of Coastal Wetlands in the NJ/NY/CT region during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
  • Sheng, Y.P., Zou, R., Rivera-Nieves, A., Paramygin, V.A., Sharp, S., Angelini, C. (Submitted). Quantifying the Buffering Capacity of Piermont Marsh for Surge, Wave, and Flooding during Hurricane Sandy
  • Paramygin, V.A., Sheng, Y.P., Yang, K. (Submitted). Probabilistic coastal inundation maps of NJ, NY, and CT coasts.
  • Sheng, Paramygin, Rivera-Nieves, Zou, Hall, Fernald, Jacob (submitted) Assessing and Enhancing the Value of Coastal Marshes for Protecting Coastal Communities from Storm-Induced Wave, Flood, and Structural Loss in a Changing Climate