SPCMSC Staff Shared Coastal Change Research and Forecasts with Congressional Staffer

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Staff from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) held a virtual meeting on January 26, 2021, with a Constituent Advocate from Representative Charlie Crist’s office to share the Center’s recent research and upcoming directions for the coastal change hazards focus.

a dune that has been eroded several feet

Tropical Storm Eta affected beaches along Florida's Gulf Coast in November 2020. Some dunes were eroded up to several feet due to the high water levels associated with the storm. Madeira Beach is home to many people and animals, and erosion events such as this can affect both habitat and infrastructure. The USGS Coastal Change Hazards team works to predict these erosion events so we can better prepare for coastal change. (Credit: Justin Birchler, USGS. Public domain.)

The goals of the meeting were to provide Jonathan Rowles, Constituent Advocate for Mr. Crist, with an overview of the USGS SPCMSC, the science conducted within the 13th Congressional district of Florida, and what tools and resources are available for partners and constituents concerned and affected by coastal change hazards. The virtual meeting was attended by SPCMSC Center Director Nathaniel Plant, Deputy Center Director Chris Reich, Research Oceanographer Meg Palmsten, Science Advisor for Coastal Change Hazards Hilary Stockdon, Information Specialist Meaghan Faletti, Congressional Liaison Chris Trent, and representatives from the Office of Communication and Publishing Vic Hines and Heather Dewar. Dr. Plant briefed Mr. Rowles with an overview about the mission and scientific focus areas of SPCMSC. Dr. Palmsten presented on the status of coastal change hazards both within the district and around the Nation, including an introduction to the USGS/NOAA Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer; a synopsis of USGS forecasts on the probability of dune erosion, overwash, and inundation during 2020 Hurricane Season; and projections of shoreline change due to sea-level rise in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal.

Representative Charlie Crist visited the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in May of 2019. See the related news piece.

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