The beaches of the Hawaiian Islands attract nearly 9 million visitors each year, who inject around $15.6 billion into the state’s economy and support almost 200,000 jobs. Beyond their economic importance, Hawaiian beaches are also culturally and ecologically valuable. However, climate change driven sea-level rise is causing many beaches to disappear, endangering property, infrastructure, and critical habitats. The goal of this project was to develop a method for forecasting erosion-vulnerable beach areas that could be used in coastal management planning. Researchers focused on the island of Kauaʻi, modeling beach response to rising sea level over the next century and producing maps that provide information about...
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...
Developing Shared Strategies for Sea-level Rise Adaptation in Working Lands of Humboldt Bay and the Eel River Delta
The Humboldt Bay-Eel River region may experience the highest rate of relative sea level rise increase along the West Coast. The Project will engage stakeholders to discuss community and science needs for planning and implementing adaptation measures to sea level rise. The Project is a critical step in developing an ecosystem based-management (EBM) approach to guide the protection, management, enhancement, adaptation, restoration, and possible redistribution of Humboldt Bay-Eel River Delta habitats under future climate scenarios. This process will be informed by the best-available science, the needs of Humboldt Bay-Eel River Delta agricultural producers, and other community members.
Using TEK to model the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on coastal cultural resources at Tolowa Dunes State Park, Del Norte County, California
This project obtained information regarding past catastrophic events, such as tsunamis, and TEK through oral history interviews with Tolowa elders regarding the effects of climate change and tsunamis on traditional smelt fishing camps; generated a GIS model of coastal inundation due to sea level rise and overlaid that with known archaeological and ethnographic resources; generated a final report with detailed information of past tsunami events, and modeled the potential effects of climate change and sea level rise on archaeological and ethnographic Tolowa sites using TEK and GIS based upon the results of this study.
Employing the Conservation Design Approach on Sea-Level Rise Impacts on Coastal Avian Habitats along the Central Texas Coast
Sea level rise caused by climate change is an ongoing phenomenon and a concern both locally and worldwide. Low-lying coastal areas are particularly at risk to flooding and inundation, affecting a large proportion of the human population concentrated in these areas as well as natural communities-particularly animal species that depend on these habitats as a key component of their life cycle. While more local, state, and federal governments have become concerned with the potential effects that predicted sea levels will have on their communities and coastal landscapes, more information is needed on the potential effects that changes in sea level will have on coastal habitats and species.
Identifying Critical Thresholds and Tipping Points for Priority Coastal Species in a Changing Future
A large portion of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the Caribbean; however, our coasts are also home to many fish, wildlife, and plant species that are important for recreation, tourism, local economies, biodiversity, and healthy coastal ecosystems. Coastal habitats also provide protective ecosystem services to human communities, which are increasingly at risk to storms and sea level rise under future climate change. Understanding how climate change will impact natural and human communities is a crucial part of decision making and management related to the protection of our coasts. In a collaborative project between the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative...
The Available Science Assessment Process (ASAP) Continued: Evaluating Adaptation Actions for Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Change in the Pacific Northwest
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing resource management. The disruptions it is causing require that we change the way we consider management in order to ensure the future of habitats, species, and human communities. Practitioners often struggle with how to identify and prioritize specific climate adaptation actions (CAAs). Management actions may have a higher probability of being successful if they are informed by available scientific knowledge and findings. The goal of the Available Science Assessment Process (ASAP) was to synthesize and evaluate the body of scientific knowledge on specific, on-the-ground CAAs to determine the conditions, timeframes, and geographic areas where particular CAAs...
Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative partners are undertaking numerous efforts to conserve and restore coastal resources, many of which are sensitive to the effects of climate change. Natural resource managers need improved computer modeling tools to effectively evaluate possible sea level rise scenarios along the Gulf of Mexico Coast to better predict the effects on valuable habitats and wildlife.
Over 50% of commercial and recreationally important fish species depend on coastal wetlands. In the Pacific Northwest, coastal wetlands, where the ocean meets the land, are highly productive areas that support a wealth of wildlife species from salmon to ducks. The tidal marshes, mudflats, and shallow bays of coastal estuaries link marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats and provide economic and recreational benefits to local communities. However, wetlands in this region and elsewhere are threatened by sea-level rise and other climate-related changes. According to a USFWS and NOAA report, between 2004 and 2009, 80,000 acres of wetland were lost on average each year, which is a significant increase from the previous...