Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Process-based models and studies of coastal change to inform habitat restoration and climate change adaptation

January 1, 2021

Puget Sound salmon and estuary recovery strategies identify tens of thousands of acres of floodplain and estuary habitat restoration needed to re-establish ecosystem functions lost or degraded from western land use (Simenstad et al., 2011); the extent for nearshore habitat remains uncertain. Sediment is critical for shaping the structure and functions of these ecosystems and the success of many habitat recovery strategies. This is particularly important in the Pacific Northwest, where high sediment flux through the coastal zone makes it a more dynamic ecosystem driver than other regions where estuary restoration guidance has been developed and especially for extensive marshes and floodplains that have subsided due to lost sediment delivery from placement of flow control (flood protection) structures (Grossman et al., 2020). Fluvial sediment delivery to Puget Sound is expected to greatly increase in many systems under projected climate change (Lee et al., 2016), requiring better models and tools to evaluate complex ecosystem responses.

Guidance for estuary habitat recovery (e.g., Clancy et al., 2009) rests on a paradigm of restoring historic habitats and connectivity by simply removing or lowering levees assuming sediment delivery and accumulation will occur. Outcomes of several restoration projects and studies show that restoring “opportunity” for sediment delivery may not be enough. Improved knowledge and predictive models of land-use and climate change effects on sediment budgets, sediment properties, and coastal change can refine restoration guidance to evaluate quantitative expectations for sediment flux, composition, accumulation, and timing critical to achieving more effective recovery, resilience, and community support.

Publication Year 2021
Title Process-based models and studies of coastal change to inform habitat restoration and climate change adaptation
Authors Eric E. Grossman
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70221733
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center