St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center


Research programs have a primary focus of investigating processes related to coastal and marine environments and societal implications related to natural hazards, resource sustainability, and environmental change.



Read about our science projects, find out where we are working, and why it matters.

Science Themes



Peer-reviewed research results and conclusions, authored by Center scientists.

Publications List


Date published: October 20, 2021

Scientists from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center will represent USGS at the 50th anniversary of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) conference.

SPCMSC scientists Kathryn Smith, Alisha Ellis, Karim Alizad, Joseph Terrano, Robert Jenkins, and RC Mickey will be giving virtual presentations at the 26th biennial CERF conference November 1-11.

Date published: October 19, 2021

USGS Shares Coastal Hazards, Ecosystems Science with Local Community at the St. Petersburg Science Festival

The St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center and the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center shared USGS science via live sessions and pre-recorded videos at the annual St. Pete Science Festival.

Date published: October 15, 2021

National Hispanic American Heritage Month

National Hispanic American Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15, was established to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. In honor of this special month, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) celebrated our scientists and staff of Hispanic descent and highlighted how their heritage plays a role in their...


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Year Published: 2021

Distinguishing between regression model fits to global mean sea level reconstructions

Global mean sea level (GMSL) has been rising since the last century, posing a serious challenge for the coastal areas. A variety of regression models have been utilized for determining GMSL rise over the past one hundred years, resulting in a large spread of sea level rise rates and multidecadal variations. In this study, we develop a new...

Zhu, Yingli; Mitchum, Gary T.; Doran, Kara S.; Chambers, Don P.; Liang, Xinfeng

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Year Published: 2021

Hotspot dune erosion on an intermediate beach

A large, low pressure Nor’easter storm and Hurricane Joaquin contributed to multiple weeks of sustained, elevated wave and water level conditions along the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States in Fall 2015. Sea level anomalies in excess of 1 m and offshore wave heights of up to 4 m were recorded during these storms, as observed at the...

Cohn, Nicholas; Brodie, Katherine; Johnson, Bradley; Palmsten, Margaret Louise

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Year Published: 2021

Rigorously valuing the impact of projected coral reef degradation on coastal hazard risk in Florida

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the physical protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed, in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coast...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Yates, Kimberly K.; Cumming, Kristen A.; Cole, Aaron D.; Shope, James B.; Gaido L., Camila; Zawada, David G.; Arsenault, Stephanie R.; Fehr, Zachery W.; Nickel, Barry A.; Beck, Michael W.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Yates, K.K., Cumming, K.A., Cole, A.D., Shope, J.B., Gaido L., C., Zawada, D.G., Arsenault, S.R., Fehr, Z.W., Nickel, B.A., and Beck, M.W., 2021, Rigorously valuing the impact of projected coral reef degradation on coastal hazard risk in Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1055, 27 p.,