Federal Agencies, Local Coastal Managers and Researchers Work Together to Identify Ways to Mitigate the Impact of Sea Level Rise in Coastal Alabama and the Florida Panhandle
In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that by 2095 worldwide sea level will rise between 18 cm – 55 cm. This poses a serious concern for coastal areas that may see effects such as coastal erosion, damage to coastal infrastructure, higher and more frequent flooding and broad impacts on the coastal economy. In the U.S., the Florida Panhandle and Louisiana will lose vital natural resources and coastline due to even a small rise in sea level. To discuss this pressing issue local, state, and federal entities came together at the Gulf Ecology Division Laboratory of the Environmental Protection Agency in Gulf Breeze, Florida January 22-24 for the Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise Workshop. This was a unique opportunity for federal agencies and local and state coastal managers to exchange information about sea level rise and to collectively come up with the scientific, management and modeling information still needed to understand and mitigate the effects of Sea Level Rise on the Florida Panhandle and the Alabama coast.
The knowledge gained through this workshop will be the basis for expanding NCCOS Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise (EESLR) Research Program to coastal Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, providing coastal managers with the tools they need to identify ways to mitigate the impact of Sea Level Rise on coastal habitats in the future. This expansion also demonstrates the importance of climate change research and CSCOR’s commitment to providing linkages between scientists and managers.
The workshop was organized by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science with assistance from the Coastal Services Center’s Gulf Coast Services Center, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. The National Geodetic Survey, the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, and the Coast Survey Development Lab all participated and contributed information to make the workshop a true one-NOAA effort.