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Sea-Level Rise and Coasts

Ecosystems and infrastructure along our coasts face rapidly mounting environmental challenges from sea level rise, flooding and inundation, and more frequent and intense coastal storms. CASC scientists are working to effectively address these issues by providing quality scientific and socio-economic information to those who need it. Explore our science with sea-level rise and coasts below.

Filter Total Items: 117

Ghuts, Grit, and Gills: Aquatic Data Synthesis for Climate Adaptation in the US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands are vulnerable to sea level rise, intense storms, and unpredictable rainfall brought by climate change. These changes influence the health of freshwater streams (known as “ghuts”), sedimentation, erosion and water quality (“grit”), as well as aquatic communities and ecosystems (“gills”) that are unique to the islands and important for indigenous peoples’ heritage, local fishe
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Ghuts, Grit, and Gills: Aquatic Data Synthesis for Climate Adaptation in the US Virgin Islands

The US Virgin Islands are vulnerable to sea level rise, intense storms, and unpredictable rainfall brought by climate change. These changes influence the health of freshwater streams (known as “ghuts”), sedimentation, erosion and water quality (“grit”), as well as aquatic communities and ecosystems (“gills”) that are unique to the islands and important for indigenous peoples’ heritage, local fishe
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A Fresh Set of Tools: New Information for Managing Fisheries During Changes in River Discharge

The Bonnet Carré spillway (BCS) is a flood-control structure along the Lower Mississippi River designed to prevent flooding in the city of New Orleans by diverting excess water into the nearby Lake Pontchartrain estuary. Alarmingly, the BCS was opened as many times over the past decade (2011–2020) as it had been over the six prior decades combined (1951–2010), with devastating effects on the estua
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A Fresh Set of Tools: New Information for Managing Fisheries During Changes in River Discharge

The Bonnet Carré spillway (BCS) is a flood-control structure along the Lower Mississippi River designed to prevent flooding in the city of New Orleans by diverting excess water into the nearby Lake Pontchartrain estuary. Alarmingly, the BCS was opened as many times over the past decade (2011–2020) as it had been over the six prior decades combined (1951–2010), with devastating effects on the estua
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An Action Plan for Cultural Resource Climate Adaptation Research and Funding

The Gulf of Mexico coast of Louisiana and Texas faces threats from increasingly destructive extreme weather, heat, subsidence, and coastal erosion. Inland areas also face stronger storms, floods, and shifts in land development patterns. Increasing drought and extreme heat in Texas and New Mexico also exacerbate fires and floods. All of these regions are culturally rich, rapidly changing areas wher
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An Action Plan for Cultural Resource Climate Adaptation Research and Funding

The Gulf of Mexico coast of Louisiana and Texas faces threats from increasingly destructive extreme weather, heat, subsidence, and coastal erosion. Inland areas also face stronger storms, floods, and shifts in land development patterns. Increasing drought and extreme heat in Texas and New Mexico also exacerbate fires and floods. All of these regions are culturally rich, rapidly changing areas wher
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Forecasting the Future of Ongeim’l Tketau (Jellyfish Lake), Palau in a Changing Climate

Palau’s Jellyfish Lake, locally known as Ongeim’l Tketau (OTM), is an iconic tourism site and an important area of biodiversity. This landlocked marine lake is part of the Rock Island Southern Lagoon UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing an expression of Palauan national pride, and has brought in millions of dollars to the local Koror State economy. OTM is also home to the unique Golden jellyfi
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Forecasting the Future of Ongeim’l Tketau (Jellyfish Lake), Palau in a Changing Climate

Palau’s Jellyfish Lake, locally known as Ongeim’l Tketau (OTM), is an iconic tourism site and an important area of biodiversity. This landlocked marine lake is part of the Rock Island Southern Lagoon UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing an expression of Palauan national pride, and has brought in millions of dollars to the local Koror State economy. OTM is also home to the unique Golden jellyfi
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Impacts of Climate Change on Water Quality and Fish Recruitment in Native Hawaiian Fishponds

Loko iʻa, Hawaiian fishponds, are part of a rich history of indigenous aquaculture dating back to the 1400s. These unique ecosystems serve as key models of food sustainability across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. Hawaiʻi, among the most geographically isolated regions throughout the world, currently faces many challenges including environmental uncertainties, increasing urbanization, a growing p
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Impacts of Climate Change on Water Quality and Fish Recruitment in Native Hawaiian Fishponds

Loko iʻa, Hawaiian fishponds, are part of a rich history of indigenous aquaculture dating back to the 1400s. These unique ecosystems serve as key models of food sustainability across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. Hawaiʻi, among the most geographically isolated regions throughout the world, currently faces many challenges including environmental uncertainties, increasing urbanization, a growing p
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Restoring Texas Coastal Wetlands: Decision Support for the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material

Coastal wetland loss is a serious concern along the northern Gulf of Mexico, especially in Texas and Louisiana where rates of wetland loss and relative sea-level rise are among the highest in the world, extreme storms are becoming more frequent, and flooding events are intensifying. Because coastal wetlands of the northern Gulf of Mexico provide numerous ecosystem services, including providing cri
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Restoring Texas Coastal Wetlands: Decision Support for the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material

Coastal wetland loss is a serious concern along the northern Gulf of Mexico, especially in Texas and Louisiana where rates of wetland loss and relative sea-level rise are among the highest in the world, extreme storms are becoming more frequent, and flooding events are intensifying. Because coastal wetlands of the northern Gulf of Mexico provide numerous ecosystem services, including providing cri
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Understanding Ridge-to-Reef and Icefield-to-Ocean Ecosystem Function in a Changing Climate

Steep, mountainous watersheds, dramatic climate gradients, and tight links between the land and sea are common features of both the Pacific Islands and Southeast Alaska. In these "ridge-to-reef" and “icefield-to-ocean" ecosystems, environmental changes that occur at higher elevations have downstream impacts on the waters below. Today, these two ecosystems are undergoing changes in climate that are
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Understanding Ridge-to-Reef and Icefield-to-Ocean Ecosystem Function in a Changing Climate

Steep, mountainous watersheds, dramatic climate gradients, and tight links between the land and sea are common features of both the Pacific Islands and Southeast Alaska. In these "ridge-to-reef" and “icefield-to-ocean" ecosystems, environmental changes that occur at higher elevations have downstream impacts on the waters below. Today, these two ecosystems are undergoing changes in climate that are
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“Climate-Smart” Fisheries and Aquaculture to Support Resilient Aquatic Ecosystems in Vietnam

The Vietnamese government has committed to climate mitigation and adaptation in support of the Paris Agreement. Implementation of Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to adaptation involves a greater focus on the Mekong River Delta, which is poised to be impacted by sea level rise. Saline intrusion from sea level rise and droughts can affect aquatic ecosystems and the services they p
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“Climate-Smart” Fisheries and Aquaculture to Support Resilient Aquatic Ecosystems in Vietnam

The Vietnamese government has committed to climate mitigation and adaptation in support of the Paris Agreement. Implementation of Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to adaptation involves a greater focus on the Mekong River Delta, which is poised to be impacted by sea level rise. Saline intrusion from sea level rise and droughts can affect aquatic ecosystems and the services they p
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Building a Coastal Flood Hazard Assessment and Adaptation Strategy with At-Risk Communities of Alaska

Coastal flooding and erosion caused by storms and sea-level rise threaten infrastructure and public safety in Alaska Native communities. Though the problem is well known, there are few tools that can assess local vulnerability to coastal flood hazards. Even fewer tools can be customized with specific community information to support local adaptation planning. The main goal of this project is t
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Building a Coastal Flood Hazard Assessment and Adaptation Strategy with At-Risk Communities of Alaska

Coastal flooding and erosion caused by storms and sea-level rise threaten infrastructure and public safety in Alaska Native communities. Though the problem is well known, there are few tools that can assess local vulnerability to coastal flood hazards. Even fewer tools can be customized with specific community information to support local adaptation planning. The main goal of this project is t
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Developing a Decision Support Tool to Inform Louisiana’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

In 2020, Governor Edwards of Louisiana issued two executive orders: establishing the Climate Initiatives Task Force to develop the state’s first ever Climate Action Plan to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to enhance coastal resilience in the state. Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and natural lands are of vital importance not just for hurricane protection, health and wellbeing, and
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Developing a Decision Support Tool to Inform Louisiana’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

In 2020, Governor Edwards of Louisiana issued two executive orders: establishing the Climate Initiatives Task Force to develop the state’s first ever Climate Action Plan to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to enhance coastal resilience in the state. Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and natural lands are of vital importance not just for hurricane protection, health and wellbeing, and
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Developing a Pacific Mangrove Monitoring Network (PACMAN) in Response to Sea Level Rise

Continued sea-level rise from a changing climate is expected to result in the loss of many coastal mangrove trees, which, will strongly affect human populations on isolated Western Pacific islands as they rely heavily on mangrove forests for food (fish, shrimp, and crabs), building materials, and firewood. Mangroves also protect local communities from tsunamis and cyclones and are important for cl
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Developing a Pacific Mangrove Monitoring Network (PACMAN) in Response to Sea Level Rise

Continued sea-level rise from a changing climate is expected to result in the loss of many coastal mangrove trees, which, will strongly affect human populations on isolated Western Pacific islands as they rely heavily on mangrove forests for food (fish, shrimp, and crabs), building materials, and firewood. Mangroves also protect local communities from tsunamis and cyclones and are important for cl
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Effects of Urban Coastal Armoring on Salt Marsh Sediment Supplies and Resilience to Climate Change

Salt marshes are grassy wetlands that form along sheltered coastlines. These areas provide crucial habitats for many species of birds and other animals, in addition to recreational activities and economic opportunities. Marshes also protect the coast from storms and filter runoff from the landscape, ensuring cleaner and healthier coastal waters. As climate change causes sea levels to rise salt mar
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Effects of Urban Coastal Armoring on Salt Marsh Sediment Supplies and Resilience to Climate Change

Salt marshes are grassy wetlands that form along sheltered coastlines. These areas provide crucial habitats for many species of birds and other animals, in addition to recreational activities and economic opportunities. Marshes also protect the coast from storms and filter runoff from the landscape, ensuring cleaner and healthier coastal waters. As climate change causes sea levels to rise salt mar
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