Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Resilience along the West Coast—Science and Policy Coming Together to Strengthen Communities and the Environment

On Dec. 4, 2019, USGS scientist Patrick Barnard participated with other panelists in a congressional briefing looking at the issue of coastal impacts and solutions to lessen risk from sea-level rise, coastal inundation and storms along the west coast of the U.S.

Dr. Barnard
As one of four panelists at a briefing held by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Coastal States Organization, Patrick Barnard outlined the climate-related challenges facing beaches and estuaries along the West Coast and discussed how USGS science, particularly the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS), helps communities adapt to reduce risk to lives and property.

This article is part of the October-December 2019 issue of the Sound Waves newsletter.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Coastal States Organization (CSO) held the briefing to highlight science and policy initiatives that are helping protect West Coast ecosystems and communities from erosion, sea level rise, and other coastal hazards. The briefing showcased nature-based solutions, which can protect human lives and property while creating habitat for wildlife and supporting various coastal industries. These techniques can also be paired with traditional “gray” infrastructure to meet a greater variety of planning needs.

Daniel Bresette, Executive Director of EESI, and Bradley Watson, Executive Director of CSO, introduced the session with the hope that these approaches might serve as a model for other regions experiencing similar issues. The panelists described the collaborative process between federal, state, local, and Tribal stakeholders and include collecting, sharing, and acting on scientific data to inform policy decisions around adaptation and help communities define and achieve their resilience goals.

Participating panelists:

  • Patrick Barnard, Research Geologist, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, USGS;
  • Charles Lester, Director, Ocean & Coastal Policy Center, Marine Science Institute, UC Santa Barbara; 
  • Jessica Fain, Director of Planning, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC); and
  • Aimee Kinney, Coastal Law and Policy Research Scientist, Puget Sound Institute.

You can watch the recorded briefing, download the audio, see the presenters slides and more here:


Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.