Coastal Resilience

Project Overview

Coastal Resilience is a web-based decision-support tool that combines spatial data on coastal habitat and human communities, allowing users to evaluate vulnerabilities to various scenarios such as sea level rise and coastal storms. The tool provides analyses of impacts from various sea level rise scenarios, such as miles of roads inundated, and includes vulnerability assessments such as mapping low areas in dike systems that may be at risk from overtopping. The project was led by Mr. Fuller while at The Nature Conservancy and completed in partnership with Mr. Grossman, The Spatial Institute, and others. The tool was incorporated into The Nature Conservancy’s global Coastal Resilience mapping network, and the development site is maintained by The Spatial Institute which continues to improve and add functions.

Incorporated into The Nature Conservancy’s global tool is an app called Coastal Defense which was also developed by our team in collaboration with The Natural Capital Project. Coastal Defense models the effect of tidal marshes and eelgrass on the attenuation of storm wave energy and height. The app allows users to visualize the role of current coastal habitats in protecting coastal communities from erosion and flooding. It also allows users to alter the extent and condition of habitat and levee systems in order to assess the effect of alternative management choices on flood risk. The app has been extended to include oyster reefs and is now available for the Gulf of Mexico where it is used to identify priority places for oyster reef restoration.

This project was completed as part of a larger project evaluating the vulnerability and resilience of Puget Sound estuaries and coastal communities to climate change.