Restoration and mitigation

Although it is most desirable to protect coastal marine ecosystems in their natural condition, many have already been damaged or will be damaged before they are protected. For these ecosystems, restoration may be an option. Before living organisms are restored, the physical and chemical aspects of the ecosystem must be restored to a state that can support the desired community. Recovery efforts may focus on single species or entire ecosystems. The latter is usually accomplished by introducing new populations of the species that provide the ecosys-tem's fundamental structure and food chain base, such as slat marsh grasses, seagrasses, or corals, and hoping that the rest of community will replenish itself. Such efforts have met with limited success.