SPCMSC Research Oceanographer, Meg Palmsten, and SPCMSC Oceanographer, Kara Doran, interviewed for a documentary film

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On December 11, Meg Palmsten and Kara Doran were interviewed in person at Madeira Beach and Fort Desoto Park in Pinellas County, Florida, following USGS COVID-19 protocols. Filmmaker Dave Santillo from TerraTrek focused the interview on coastal change hazards and storm impacts research that the USGS and St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center has been leading.

SPCMSC researchers highlighted the ongoing observations of total water level and coastal change at Madeira Beach, and how those observations are used to validate the USGS Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast. The interview also focused on the potential uses of the operational forecast to protect lives and property during large wave events.

TerraTrek aims to bring attention to the environment and help forge a new path for a sustainable and livable environment by raising various environmental issues with local communities in order to help the public understand why they should care. Their mission is to share environmental stories from across America that increase public awareness and support for the environment, inspire appreciation for the natural world, and grow the community of problem solvers, activists and stewards of the earth. Researchers at SPCMSC have studied the effects of storms on sandy beaches for several decades and have developed the USGS Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast. The USGS National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project is working with the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) to combine wave predictions from the Nearshore Wave Prediction System (NWPS) with USGS-derived beach morphology to provide 6-day forecasts of hourly wave-induced water levels. The viewer includes predictions of the timing and magnitude of water levels at the shoreline and potential impacts to coastal dunes. (Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer - National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards (usgs.gov))

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Date published: January 19, 2018

Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer

Total water level (TWL) at the shoreline is the combination of tides, surge, and wave runup. A forecast of TWL is an estimate of the elevation where the ocean will meet the coast and can provide guidance on potential coastal erosion and flooding hazards.

Date published: August 24, 2017

Coastal Change Hazards Portal

Interactive access to coastal change science and data for our Nation’s coasts. Information and products are organized within three coastal change hazard themes: 1) extreme storms, 2) shoreline change, and 3) sea-level rise. Displays probabilities of coastal erosion.