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News

September 16, 2021

Special Issue on Reducing Flood Risk by Restoring Coral Reefs

In this special issue, explore the benefits provided by coral reefs off Florida and Puerto Rico - including flood risk reduction and protection for people, property, and natural resources. A new series of USGS reports demonstrates how the restoration of coral reefs can save hundreds of millions of dollars in storm-related damages every year.

Date published: September 7, 2021

Reducing Flood Risks by Restoring Coral Reefs

Healthy coral reefs are more than just hotspots of marine biodiversity—they’re also invaluable to long-term resilience against coastal storms.

Publications

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Year Published: 2021

Rigorously valuing the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on coastal hazard risks in Florida and Puerto Rico

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. In the United States, the physical protective services provided by coral reefs were recently assessed in social and economic terms, with the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs off the coasts...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Viehman, T. Shay; Cumming, Kristen A.; Cole, Aaron D.; Shope, James B.; Groves, Sarah H.; Gaido L., Camila; Nickel, Barry A.; Beck, Michael W.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Viehman, T.S., Cumming, K.A., Cole, A.D., Shope, J.B., Groves, S.H., Gaido L., C., Nickel, B.A., and Beck, M.W., 2021, Rigorously valuing the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on coastal hazard risks in Florida and Puerto Rico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1056, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211056.

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Year Published: 2021

Land-based sediment sources and transport to southwest Puerto Rico coral reefs after Hurricane Maria, May 2017 to June 2018

The effects of runoff from land on nearshore ecosystems, including coral reef communities, are influenced by both sediment supply and removal by coastal processes. Integrated studies across the land-sea interface describing sources and transport of terrestrial sediment and its nearshore fate allow reef protection initiatives to target...

Takesue, Renee K.; Sherman, Clark E; Reyes, Aaron O.; Cheriton, Olivia; Ramirez, Natalia I.; Viqueira Ríos, Roberto; Storlazzi, Curt

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Year Published: 2021

Rapid observations of ocean dynamics and stratification along a steep island coast during Hurricane María

Hurricanes are extreme storms that affect coastal communities, but the linkages between hurricane forcing and ocean dynamics remain poorly understood. Here, we present full water column observations at unprecedented resolution from the southwest Puerto Rico insular shelf and slope during Hurricane María, representing a rare set of high-frequency,...

Cheriton, Olivia; Storlazzi, Curt; Rosenberger, Kurt J.; Sherman, Clark E; Schmidt, Wilford