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The USGS is excited to present a series of Coastal Change Hazards geonarratives that will take you on a journey to learn more about coastal change and the related research we conduct across our Nation’s coasts.
Our coasts are invaluable. They can be a relaxing place where people live and play. They are also productive ecosystem habitats that provide livelihoods and economic support for many. Coastlines are also dynamic places where changes pose hazards to human lives and infrastructure if placed too close. When given space to move and respond, our natural coastal systems can actually protect coastal communities from potential hazards. The USGS created this collection of Coastal Change Hazards geonarratives to take you on a journey to explore the various elements of coastal change.
The overarching geonarrative, “Our Coasts,” first introduces you to the beauty and significance of our Nation’s coastal environments and why it is crucial to understand the impacts and risks associated with coastal change. From there, you can explore other topics in more detail, such as barrier islands, coastal storms, shoreline change, forecasting coastal change, and the role of coral reefs in the coastal environment. Each geonarrative will allow you to learn more about how specific tools help us better understand coastal hazards and the environmental drivers of these hazards, and enhance our ability to reduce risks along our Nation’s coasts.
The products described in these geonarratives have been designed to help coastal communities, managers and other stakeholders better understand the complex dynamics of coastal systems. Our data, models, and tools help users visualize potential coastal change hazards, such as storms and sea-level rise, and better plan for their associated impacts. Explore the tools we’ve developed to describe the coast, how the coast may change over time, and the potential hazards associated with these changes. Our goal is to empower local coastal managers to increase public safety, mitigate physical damages, and effectively manage resources in complex coastal settings.
These geonarratives are akin to an online story book. The interactive web pages allow the user to explore content by scrolling through a series of maps, photos, and engaging information about our research and tools. While scrolling, interactive maps will appear. Click the “Explore Map” tab in the bottom right to investigate the spatial data in more detail!
Whatever the coast may mean to you - whether it’s your livelihood, a critical habitat for your favorite creatures, or a relaxing place to visit - the importance of the coast is indisputable. We hope you find these geonarratives engaging, inspiring, and useful for you and your community.
Coastal Change in Alaska
National Shoreline Change
Real-time Forecasts of Coastal Change
The Role of US Coral Reefs in Coastal Protection
Alaska's north coast has been home to indigenous communities for centuries. Changing coastlines threaten important infrastructure and historic sites that support indigenous communities. Changing coastlines also can potentially reduce habitat for Arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, shorebirds, and walruses. Oil- and gas-related development sites and U.S. Department of Defense installations
U.S. Geological Survey scientists have shown that along with providing food, tourism, and biodiversity, coral reefs also protect dollars and lives. This interactive geonarrative introduces the USGS research to understand the role of US coral reefs in coastal protection.
Exploring Shoreline Positions of the United States From the 1800s To The Present. This geonarrative explains how the USGS derives shorelines from various data sources, and how shoreline change rates are generated from these data. The Natural Hazards Mission Area programs of the USGS develop and apply hazard science to help protect the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation.
U.S. Geological Survey researchers develop tools to forecast coastal change hazards. This geonarrative features research and tools developed to forecast real-time coastal change.
U.S. Geological Survey Researchers Monitor Barrier Islands. This geonarrative features research used to monitor Barrier islands which are narrow stretches of sand deposited parallel to the shoreline, are inherently valuable ecosystems. They protect estuaries and lagoons that help reduce coastal erosion, purify the water, and provide habitat for fish and birds.
USGS Coastal Change Hazards research provides scientific tools to protect lives, property, and the economic well being of the Nation. The mission of the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Program is to provide research and tools to protect lives, property, and the economic well-being of the Nation. This is a story map that introduces the value of our coasts and the threats they face with global change.