NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science are awarding over $1.3 million, with an anticipated total of $3.4 million over the next four years, for research that will provide coastal managers with the science to plan for sea level rise and flooding, and improve the resilience of their communities. With increasing threats to our coasts, enhancing resilience to sea level rise and flooding has become a national priority. NOAA’s coastal resilience initiatives promote preparedness, response, and recovery to a variety of threats.
Coastal communities and the surrounding ecosystems are threatened by rising seas and flooding that alters shorelines, and can make people, homes and businesses more vulnerable to storms. Rising sea levels can also change how ecosystems work, especially when combined with inundation from tides and storms.
“Natural features, like coastal wetlands, can provide substantial economic benefits to coastal communities by providing flood protection, critical habitat, and other services,” said David Kidwell, NOAA’s program manager for these awards. “As these benefits are increasingly understood, communities can better evaluate risk reduction solutions for coastal protection beyond traditional hardened shorelines.”
Funding under NOAA’s Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise Program and Climate Vulnerability Initiative will support fivenew projects in California, Louisiana, and Virginia.
- University of California Irvine will receive $1,150,000 anticipated over four years to study effects of sediment management practices on the resiliency and vulnerability of coastal communities and coastal wetlands. Modeling tools will enable analysis of flood risk, instability and erosion risk, and habitat distributions afforded by alternative sediment management practices.
- California State Coastal Conservancy will receive $989,472 anticipated over four years to study sea level rise effects on intermittently open estuaries and identify nature-based sea level rise adaptation strategies for marshes in southern California through enhancements to a suite of coastal modeling platforms.
- Louisiana State University will receive $1,200,000 over four years to evaluate the ability of natural and nature-based features to mitigate storm surge and nuisance flooding. The research team will be the first to link economic impact analysis and ecosystem services valuation directly to their storm surge and flooding models.
- Louisiana State University was awarded $100,000 for one yearto transition and apply the Dynamic Surge tool to model the effects of sea level and landscape changes on storm surge in the Hampton Roads region. The Dynamic Surge tool was developed for the Gulf of Mexico through prior support from NCCOS.
These awards contribute to a larger NOAA effort to provide science to inform decisions, conserve priority ecosystems, and advance the use of natural and nature-based infrastructure to mitigate the effects of coastal hazards. In 2015, NCCOS new awards ($3.5 million over three years) supported coastal resilience research, modeling, and tool development in California, Oregon, North Carolina, and Hawaii.
The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science deliver ecosystem science solutions for NOAA’s National Ocean Service and its partners, bringing research, scientific information and tools to help balance the nation’s ecological, social and economic goals.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
For more information, contact David.Kidwell@noaa.gov.