Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: a technical input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment, examines climate change impacts on coastal ecosystems and human economies and communities, as well as the kinds of scientific data, planning tools and resources that coastal communities and resource managers need to help them adapt to these changes.
NOAA’s Coastal Inundation Mapping is a hands-on computer course that enables users to identify areas susceptible to flood inundation. This course teaches participants about the different types of coastal inundation, ways to map flood areas in the coastal environment, data and methodology limitations, and practical ways to apply this information to support state and local planning efforts. These efforts can further targeted land conservation in order to mitigate storm and flood impacts.
Coastal areas are commonly defined as the interface or transition areas between land and sea, including large inland lakes. Climate change is impacting and will continue to affect coastal areas in a variety of ways. Coasts are sensitive to sea level rise, changes in the frequency and intensity of storms, increases in precipitation, and warmer ocean temperatures. In addition, rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing the oceans to absorb more of the gas and become more acidic. These changes are already impacting coastal and marine ecosystems.
LIDAR —Light Detection and Ranging — is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth. Coastal Lidar reflects elevation information, which is a primary data consideration for management activities in the coastal zone, including conservation.
The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Resilience Network provides geographically targeted resources to address ecological and socio-economic risks of coastal hazards through raising awareness, assessing risk, identifying choices, and taking action.
The Coastal Resilience Index tool helps communities examine how prepared they are for storms and storm recovery. To complete the assessment, community leaders can get together and use the tool to guide discussion about their community’s resilience to coastal hazards.
Coastal Vulnerability Maps and Study shows the elevation of coastal areas from Massachusetts to Florida as well as Texas. A sea level rise planning study which integrates information related to land use, zoning, and anticipated development to determine the future likelihood of shore protection and prevention of inland wetland migration is also included.
There are various definitions of “coastal lands” that are used on this site. Conservation in a Changing Climate includes references to the National Climate Assessment or NOAA data when applicable, which typically means either states that contain coastal watersheds or coastal counties. These definitions typically include the Great Lakes.
Climate change is affecting coastal environments, calling for revised conservation approaches, and therefore must be considered in long-term planning. This guide provides a step-by-step approach for incorporating climate change information into new or existing conservation plans. The guide’s six steps draw from existing strategic conservation planning frameworks but focus on climate considerations and key resources specifically relevant to the coastal environment, including coastal watersheds.
How to Consider Climate Change in Coastal Conservation is an online, self-guided resource that provides a step-by-step approach, worksheets, and curated resources to create a new conservation plan or update an existing one that incorporates climate change information.