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Projected flooding extents and depths based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods for the State of Florida, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands for current and potentially restored coral reefs

September 7, 2021

This data release provides flooding extent polygons based on wave-driven total water levels for the coral lined coasts of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The locations of the restoration lines along and across shore were defined by the presence of continuous coral/hardbottom habitat of greater than 100 m alongshore length and proximity to the 3-m depth contour. The wave and sea level conditions were then propagated using XBeach modelling (methoods are available at ) over 100-m spaced shore-normal transects modified to account for three coral reef restoration scenarios. The vertical height of the coral or emplacement of new structure was parameterized by increasing the elevation (decreasing the depth) of the shore-normal profile over the spatial extent of the restoration along the profile. Profiles of total water levels (set-up plus run-up) at each grid cell over the profiles were then extracted to define the wave-driven flooding along these cross-shore profiles with the influence of the different coral reef restoration scenarios. For each state/territory there are 16 associated flood extent shapefiles: one for each of four nearshore wave energy return periods (rp; 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-years), the current scenario (base) and each of the restoration scenarios (structural_25, structural_05, and ecological_25). Structural plus ecological (structural_25) represents the emplacement of a 1 m-high solid structure over a distance of 25 m in the cross-shore direction and planting new corals on top of the structure; represented by +1.25 m increase in height and 0.45 and 0.13 increases in hydrodynamic roughness for fw and cf, respectively, due to the presence of the corals over the 25 m-wide extent. Structural plus ecological (structural_05) represents the emplacement of a 1 m-high solid structure over a distance of 5 m in the cross-shore direction and planting new corals on top of the structure; represented by +1.25 m increase in height and 0.45 and 0.13 increases in hydrodynamic roughness for fw and cf, respectively, due to the presence of the corals over the 5 m-wide extent. Ecological (ecological_25) represents solely planting new corals over a distance of 25 m in the cross-shore direction (horizontal width of restoration); represented by +0.25 m increase in height and 0.45 and 0.13 increases in hydrodynamic roughness for fw and cf, respectively, due to the presence of the corals over the 25 m-wide extent. These flood extents can be combined with economic, ecological, and engineering tools to provide a rigorous financial valuation of the coastal protection benefits of coral reef restoration of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.