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National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) along the East Coast of the United States protect habitat for a host of wildlife species, while also offering storm surge protection, improving water quality, supporting nurseries for commercially important fish and shellfish, and providing recreation opportunities for coastal communities. Yet in the last century, coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development activities as well as sea-level rise and more frequent extreme events related to climate change. These influences threaten the ability of NWRs to protect our nation’s natural resources and to sustain their many beneficial services. Through this project, researchers are collaborating with...
Coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by local processes associated with human development, including drainage of coastal wetlands, hydrologic alterations affecting sediment supply, and land-use change, and by global-scale ecological changes including sea-level rise and other effects associated with climate change. Together, these forces are degrading the capacity of ecological and social systems to respond to disturbance. The goal of this project was to foster active engagement with stakeholders; develop a comprehensive problem definition that expressed local values, knowledge, and perceptions; and encourage building of effective networks and trust across organizations and individuals...


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