50th Anniversary Golden Nugget: Marsh Tower

By Richard Burke

Other than bulldozing a road to get there, the Marsh Tower was among the first things Branigar built back in 1972 when The Landings opened for sales. There were two marketing reasons for this. First, Romerly Marsh was the only “amenity” actually in place to show sales prospects. Buyers today see a mature community, with homes, clubhouses, golf courses, Marinas, and a Village Center laid out before them. Back in the early 70s, prospects were standing in a dense, empty forest and it was left to the sales agent to create a “vision” of the future strong enough to motivate a purchase commitment. Standing atop the tower, mesmerized by the beauty of the surrounding marsh and river, was an ideal “pitch point” to spin this story.

Second, for Northeast and Midwest prospects, an important part of the story was educating them on the differences between a saltwater “marsh” and a forest “swamp.” Few, if any, buyers wanted to live on a swamp!

So, what are the principal differences between a marsh and a swamp? The most obvious differences relate to plant life. Swamps are predominantly forested, while marshes have few if any trees, but are home to grasses and herbaceous plants, including annuals, perennials, and biennials, all supported by rich, waterlogged soils. And in the case of a tidal marsh, like Romerly, the second most obvious difference is the twice-daily flushing of ocean tides versus the standing, “blackwaters” of a swamp like the Okefenokee.

But tidal, saltwater marshes aren’t just pretty to look at. They have important ecological roles to play. They’re the breeding ground for 75% of fishery species like shrimp, clams, oysters, and crabs, they protect against shoreline erosion, they offer substantial protection against ocean storm waves and floods, and they even reduce greenhouse gases!



This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.