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Addressing Coastal Issues

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The short stories provided here illustrate how coastal management programs are addressing coastal issues.

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Planning for Florida’s Rising Tides

Researchers say accelerated sea level rise will likely result in marshes that can no longer keep up and will “drown.” In the wake of megastorms such as Hurricane Irma, a new scientific effort in Florida is working to save the Matanzas...

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Related to: Top Stories, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Florida, Research, Data and Tools

Tracking Harvey Wind and Water Data

The five monitoring stations at the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve captured wind and water level data as Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast. The information is being used to document Harvey conditions...

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Related to: Texas, Top Stories, NERRS, Data and Tools

Erosion Response Planning Proven Effective after Harvey

A Texas state law proved its effectiveness post-Hurricane Harvey, when the dune structures along Padre Island helped keep damage to Port Aransas from being more severe. Local residents have reported that homes and businesses located close...

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Related to: Texas, Top Stories, Coastal Zone Management Program, Training and Education, Natural Infrastructure

Reserves Help Certify Hundreds of “Green Landscaping” Trainers

Long before Hurricane Irma brought massive flooding to the Florida coast, the state was chronically hard-hit by polluted runoff. This issue is being addressed through a “green landscaping” training initiative that boosts water quality, decreases...

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Related to: Florida, Top Stories, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure

Vulnerability Assessments Aid Florida Recovery Efforts

For communities, hurricane preparation starts years before the storm. Evidence of the benefit of this approach is being seen after Hurricane Irma. For one project in Florida, NOAA has been working with local officials to develop state-of...

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Related to: Florida, Digital Coast, Top Stories, Data and Tools, Natural Infrastructure

Storm-Recovery Actions Bring Quick Results

Pre-planning and technology enabled South Carolina’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management to hit the ground running after Hurricane Matthew slammed the state’s coast, causing nearly $341 million in damages. Within two weeks...

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Related to: South Carolina, Coastal Zone Management Program, Top Stories, Economics, Data and Tools

Kachemak Bay Reserve Alerts Thousands to Poisoned Shellfish Dangers

A harmful algal bloom alert for Alaska’s Kachemak Bay is saving the lives of recreational and subsistence shellfish consumers—thanks to NOAA’s Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which monitors 12 sites for toxic phytoplankton...

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Related to: Alaska, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Training and Education

Games Supercharge Estuary Learning and Computer Science Skills

Work is well underway on an innovative product that will help people understand how their actions can help or hurt wetlands and the creatures that live there. Colorful, interactive computer games are being developed by 140 University...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Data and Tools, Delaware, Florida, Texas

Post-Sandy Preparedness Is Increasing Safety and Saving Money

In the wake of damages from Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, coastal New Jersey communities are acutely aware of community vulnerability and looking for ways to increase hazard preparedness and reduce costs. Dozens of municipalities are...

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Related to: Nationwide, Top Stories, Digital Coast, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Zone Management, New Jersey, Conservation, Data and Tools

Reserve “Scrubs” Brush and Trees to Beat Back Wildfire Risks

Under dry conditions, hundreds of wildfires can strike coastal Florida in any given year. The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve is lowering that risk on its 73,000-plus acres with new techniques to reduce fuel...

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Related to: Florida, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation

Digital Coast Helps Shore Up Public Safety Amid Flood Risks

Officials in the South Carolina town of Bluffton know worsening floods can cause infrastructure damage and septic contamination. To get a more informed analysis, data and tools from the Digital Coast were used, including the modeling...

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Related to: South Carolina, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Citizen Scientists Catch Eels—and Valuable Data

More than 700 volunteers helped protect the Hudson River Estuary this spring by catching, documenting, and releasing over 90,000 juvenile American Eels, a species important to conserve that also helps scientists understand habitat losses...

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Related to: New York, National Estuarine Research Reserve, Conservation, Research

Training Exercise Yields 450 Miles of Vulnerability Information

Oregon’s coastal managers not only must prepare for sea level rise but also for the potentially catastrophic scenario of an earthquake and resulting tsunami. New mapped information identifies more than 90 community assets along shorelines...

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Related to: Oregon, Top Stories, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Zone Management Program, Data and Tools, Education and Training

Course Graduates Protect Western Burrowing Owl

Three years of surveys from California’s “Western Burrowing Owl” workshops show that 88 percent of respondents are using their skills to lessen species threats and improve habitat in restoration projects, Superfund sites, construction...

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Related to: California, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation

Groundbreaking Study Uses Reserves to Evaluate Restoration Success

A lack of “pre-degradation” data makes it hard for scientists to properly evaluate wetland restoration projects. To address this issue, research reserves and NOAA created new wetland performance measures that are reliable, economical, and...

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Related to: Nationwide, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Conservation

NOAA Training Graduates Are Safeguarding Coastal Communities

A survey of Digital Coast Academy graduates shows an overwhelmingly positive response to its instructor-led and online courses, as 96 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I gained knowledge and skills that I will apply...

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Related to: Nationwide, Top Stories, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Digital Coast, Coastal Zone Management Program, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Training and Education

Green Infrastructure Trainees Put Principles into Practice

Several graduates of the NOAA Office for Coastal Management training, “Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience,” say their newfound skills are improving resilience in their own backyards:

  • An Oregon official is...

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Related to: Nationwide, Digital Coast, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education

Trainees Learn to Guide Collaborative Meetings to Finish Line

A recent survey showed that “Planning and Facilitating Collaborative Meetings” was the most-popular training offered by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, and the following stories from graduates show why:

  • Two workgroups improved...

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Related to: Nationwide, Training and Education, Digital Coast

Course Connects Dots between Planning and Measurable Results

Participants in the “Planning Effective Projects for Coastal Communities” course from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management credit their training with on-the-ground successes:

  • An Ohio agency staffer used his new skills to create...

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Related to: Nationwide, Training and Education, Digital Coast

Adaptation Training Brings On-the-Ground Results

A recent survey showed that the “Adaptation Planning for Coastal Communities” course was one of most popular trainings offered by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, and several course graduates explain why:

  • Information gathered...

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Related to: Nationwide, Training and Education, Digital Coast

Lake Erie’s Real-Time Weather Data Keeps Millions Safer

Presque Isle State Park, along the Lake Erie shore, offers 3,200 acres of outdoor recreation for four million visitors yearly, but fast-moving storms and currents sometimes pose life-threatening danger to sport fishers, swimmers,...

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Related to: Pennsylvania, Top Stories, Coastal Zone Management Program, Grants, Data and Tools

Restoration Dollars to Bring Six Times Return on Investment

Industrial pollution degraded Michigan’s Muskegon Lake, but a wetland restoration and shoreline stabilization project is breathing new life into the region. Sixty five-plus wetland acres were connected to 45 acres of open-water habitat...

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Related to: Michigan, Top Stories, Economics, Natural Infrastructure, Other

Teacher Workshop Makes Estuary Science Come Alive

Dozens of fourth-through-sixth-grade educators experienced the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem firsthand during the “Estuary Science for Elementary and Middle School Teachers” workshop. They collected water temperature data, pulled a “seine...

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Related to: Virginia, National Estuarine Research Reserve, Training and Education

Aquarium Tool Uses Sea Level Rise Viewer

South Carolina Aquarium visitors can get an instant picture that shows whether, or how, coastal flooding is likely to impact their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods, courtesy of a tool that uses data and maps from NOAA’s Sea Level...

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Related to: South Carolina, Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Training and Education

Dredging and Seeds Help Restore Marsh Ecology

As sea levels rise, Ninigret Pond’s salt marshes are drowning, converting to mud flats or open water. The sand swept in by shoreline currents is covering eelgrass beds, leaving communities without a natural buffer against storms and...

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Related to: Rhode Island, Sea Level Rise, Marsh, Ecology

Seed Money Makes Natural Infrastructure Sprout

Partners in a Lucas County initiative are making great strides using natural infrastructure to lessen stormwater runoff. County officials were eager to find a cost-effective approach, having endured 100-year flood events in 2006,...

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Related to: Ohio, Natural Infrastructure, Other

Master Plan Covers 367-Mile Texas Coast

About 6.5 million people with total wages topping $37 billion reside along the Texas coast, as do bustling ports, military installations, 25 percent of the nation's refining capacity, and most of the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve...

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Related to: Texas, Top Stories, Coastal Zone Management Program, Economics, Natural Infrastructure

Students in Three States Learn Hands-On Marsh Restoration

South Carolina’s only salt marsh restoration program designed for students has been so well-received—involving 32,000 young people and the planting of 25,000-plus Spartina seedlings—that Georgia and North Carolina have signed on,...

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Related to: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Natural Infrastructure

NOAA Funds Ensure Treasured Campground Stays Intact

Intense storms along Lake Superior’s rugged coast were slowly washing away F.J. McLain State Park, threatening campsites, park facilities, and a road. Park officials worked with NOAA and the state coastal management program to study...

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Related to: Michigan, Coastal Zone Management Program, Conservation

NOAA-Funded Helicopter Tool Tracks Shifting Sands

A helicopter equipped with an electromagnetic surveying device addresses a $3 million annual problem in Illinois that causes sand on Lake Michigan beaches to shrink dramatically while other coastal and marine areas are choked with...

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Related to: Illinois, Top Stories, Coastal Zone Management Program, Economics, Data and Tools

Tool Reduces Ocean Conflicts

The Mid-Atlantic annually generates $2 trillion or 14 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (through activities that include commercial and recreational fishing, transportation, renewable energy production, telecommunications...

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Related to: Top Stories, Digital Coast, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Data and Tools

Master Plan Secures Economic Vitality of Working Waterfronts

A working waterfront master plan, funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, represents a big step taken by this state to ensure the long-term economic and cultural value of the marine industry. Government and private sector participants...

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Related to: Virginia, Coastal Zone Management, Economics

Deep Coral Reefs Hold Promise for Shallower Degraded Reefs

A study of coral reefs found hundreds of feet underwater—known as mesophotic coral ecosystems—in the Hawaiian Archipelago revealed the most extensive deep reefs ever recorded. Researchers also found these deep reefs have more than twice as many...

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Related to: Hawaii, Coral Reef Conservation, Conservation, Research

Collaboration Aids Fishermen and Offshore Wind Management

With the advent of offshore wind energy interests, Virginia’s fishing communities needed help identifying and safeguarding fishing areas vital to their livelihoods. State and federal representatives partnered with these communities to develop fine...

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Related to: Virginia, Coastal Zone Management, Economics, Data and Tools

Habitat and Ecotourism Flourish at Lake Erie Bluffs

The purchase of the 600-acre Lake Erie Bluffs protects dozens of rare plant and animal species and offers hiking, kayaking, fishing, and bird-watching opportunities. The 50-foot observation tower offers dramatic, 360-degree coastal views. Also protected...

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Related to: Ohio, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Zone Management, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education

Living Shorelines Move from Plans to Reality

A new accomplishments report proves that the state’s living shorelines strategy is bearing fruit.

In 2015, 203 of the state’s real estate professionals and 162 landscape architects, engineers, and marine contractors attended living shoreline workshops...

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Related to: North Carolina, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Zone Management, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education

Lake Michigan Buoy Bolsters Hazards and Safety Outreach

A buoy funded by NOAA’s Coastal Storms Program supplied critical information to help keep beachgoers and recreational boaters safe along Lake Michigan’s most popular coastline.

Over 181 days of deployment off South Haven’s shores, the buoy’s observations...

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Related to: Grants, Michigan, Other

Lifesaving Beach Initiative Reaches More than a Million

Over just 12 months, 2,019 life jackets, throw rings, public signs, and other types of safety equipment were delivered to 50 beaches across the Great Lakes region. Related outreach materials and a social media campaign on drowning prevention were seen...

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Related to: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Training and Education, Grants, Coastal Zone Management

Livestreams Alert Beachgoers to Dangerous Currents

Real-time rip-current information is helping swimmers stay safe in the Minnesota city of Duluth and the Wisconsin communities of Port Washington and Milwaukee. “Rip-risk” current conditions and forecasts include air pressure, water, wave, and temperature...

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Related to: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Digital Coast, Coastal Zone Management, Data and Tools

Cost-Effective Wild Hog Strategy Saves Habitat and Species

Feral swine, also known as wild hogs, are very rough on the state’s coastal preserves and the creatures that live there. By the hundreds these hogs uproot and erode soil, degrading water quality and causing invasion by non-native plant species. Some...

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Related to: Mississippi, Coastal Zone Management, Economics, Conservation

Marine Debris Campaign Lauded as Nationwide Model

Approximately 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based sources. With that statistic in mind, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program established the first East Coast plan focused on reducing marine debris statewide. Virginia is also first...

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Related to: Virginia, Coastal Zone Management, Training and Education

World’s Most Successful Eelgrass Restoration Project

The largest and most successful eelgrass restoration project on the planet is now growing on the very spot where, for five decades, eelgrass had been rooted up and destroyed by disease and successive hurricanes. Located on the Atlantic...

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Related to: Virginia, Top Stories, Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Natural Infrastructure

Pinpointing Information Gaps to Aid Decisions

Instruments named “surface elevation tables” shed light on how sea level rise affects wetlands, but their uneven placement in coastal areas can cause spotty data results. The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative turned to the Digital Coast...

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Related to: Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Digital Coast, NERRS, Data and Tools, Partnerships

Lidar of Pre-History Settlement Informs Adaptation Today

Researchers studying the island of Ofu used Digital Coast lidar and other data to learn how islanders thousands of years ago flourished despite sea level changes and other environmental stressors.

The data showed Ofu’s western coast moved an estimated...

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Related to: American Samoa, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Gardens Combat Coral-Harming Pollution

Runoff from deforestation and agricultural pollution courses down Tutuila’s Faga`alu watershed into the ocean, harming delicate coral reefs. But thanks to rain garden experts and dozens of volunteers, new greenery now filters and absorbs...

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Related to: American Samoa, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Conservation, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education

Archipelago Data Aids Lake-Level-Impact Decisions

The Beaver Islands Archipelago in northern Lake Michigan is rich in history and natural resources as well as popular tourist destination. Never-before-collected land surface and lake floor data totaling 250 square miles is helping communities plan...

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Related to: Michigan, Grants, Data and Tools, Digital Coast

Natural Infrastructure Plan Incorporates Future Risks

Over the past four decades, the Chagrin River watershed near Cleveland, Ohio, has experienced double-digit increases in heavy-precipitation days and the amount of rain falling on those days. Several studies predict more frequent and severe events over...

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Related to: Natural Infrastructure, Grants, Ohio, Other

Study Reveals Ways to Protect Water Supplies as Development Heats Up

Nearly half of Collier County’s coastline sits within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Past local decisions altering freshwater inflows, plus other ecological stressors along the reserve’s boundary, could threaten potable...

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Related to: Florida, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Conservation, Grants

Beachsite’s Natural Infrastructure Helps Protect Corals from Runoff

At Playa Tamarindo on Culebra Island, runoff from sediment and cars driving on the beach imperils coral reefs and a local waterway.

Partners addressed the problem by planting vegetation in bare soil, installing a gravel parking lot to absorb...

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Related to: Puerto Rico, Natural Infrastructure, Corals, CZM, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Assessment Reveals Estuary’s Economic and Social Value

The Great Bay Estuary and Piscataqua River are critical to a coastal economy that includes commercial fishing and aquaculture, but development, pollution, and shoreline erosion are hurting estuary productivity. Fortunately, a recent study found...

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Related to: New Hampshire, National Estuarine Research Reserves, CZM, Economics, Grants, Research, Conservation

NOAA Research Reserve Is a First for Pacific Islands

The new He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve is located within the largest sheltered body of water in the Hawaiian Island chain, with 1,385 acres that host coastal research, shelter coral reefs, filter water, lessen flooding, and safeguard...

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Related to: Hawaii, Top Stories, National Estuarine Research Reserve, Conservation

County Scraps Hard Structure Plan for Natural Shoreline

At the spot where a traditional, hardened shoreline was once planned, Inner Harbor Park in Ocean Springs now sports a rapidly growing natural shoreline of marsh, sand, and riprap that will lessen flood-related problems and be less costly to maintain...

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Related to: Mississippi, Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Training and Education

Accessible Launch Boosts Local Ecotourism and Revitalization

The City of South Haven’s new paddle-sports launch enables people of all mobility levels to enjoy Lake Michigan, the Black River, and nearby water trails. It also strengthens the city’s trails-centered strategy for economic development and downtown...

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Related to: Michigan, Economics, Grants, CZM

Partnership Increases Impact, Saves Money

Florida International University and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve have teamed up to share eleven staff positions plus their facilities, vessels, vehicles, and information resources.

This collaboration makes it possible...

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Related to: Florida, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Partnership, Training and Education, Economics

Federal Contracting Vehicle Benefits State and Local Efforts

Local, state, and federal agencies are getting faster and easier access to nation’s top geospatial firms thorough a streamlined process developed by NOAA. Five prime contractors, who represent over 80 subcontractors, are available.

...

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Related to: Nationwide, Top Stories, Digital Coast, Economics, Data and Tools

Study on Coral-Harming Chemical Spurs Corrective Action

A study from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and a team of international scientists showed that oxybenzone, a common chemical found in over 3500 sunscreen products, greatly increases the vulnerability of juvenile corals to bleaching...

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Conservation, Research

Reserves Grow Business Partnerships

NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserves contribute to coastal economic stability. For instance, a Florida reserve offers information and assistance to local ecotourism boat operators; a Puerto Rico reserve provides an ecotourism certification...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Economics, Training and Education, Partnerships

Standardized Environmental Assessments

NOAA scientists developed a standardized approach, the first of its kind, for assessing how changing environmental conditions impact tidal marshlands. This methodology allows communities to compare and contrast results from different...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Research

Superstorm Sandy NOAA Disaster Relief Appropriations

Under the 2013 Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management awarded $2.4 million to coastal communities impacted by 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. The funds were awarded as a means of helping communities increase their ability...

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Related to: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Top Stories, Natural Infrastructure, Grants, Costal Zone Management

Digital Coast Saves U.S. Taypayer $50,000

The U.S. Department of Energy says using Digital Coast data, specifically data from a NOAA tool (the Sea Level Rise Viewer) and historical tidal data, saved taxpayers $50,000 in projected costs for data acquisition in a study on the effect of sea level...

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Related to: California, Florida, New York, Texas, Economics, Data and Tools, Digital Coast

Study Shows Public Willingness to Invest in Restoration

Community leaders need information about the values people place on ecosystem services and coastal management approaches. In a project awarded more than $290,000 in NOAA funding, two coastal restoration projects were analyzed to show coastal communities...

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Related to: New York, New Jersey, Natural Infrastructure, Grants, Economics, Other

Digital Coast Informs National Hurricane Center Work

Hazard-preparedness tip sheets provided by NOAA’s Digital Coast for the National Hurricane Center are being used by emergency managers nationwide, and Digital Coast elevation data sets were used to improve the hurricane center’s Potential Storm Surge...

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Related to: Nationwide, Partnerships, Data and Tools, Digital Coast

Protection Measures for Trout Habitat

Lake Superior tributaries provide some of the most important cold-water trout habitat in the state and contribute significantly to local economic health. Many of the streams are facing problems caused by warmer temperatures, lack of suitable spawning...

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Related to: Minnesota, Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Grants

Funded Research Leads to New Living Shorelines

A living shoreline can be the best defense against erosion. Incorporating a combination of built and nature-based erosion control techniques can be more cost-effective and environment-friendly than hard erosion control structures. Project researchers...

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Related to: Connecticut, Natural Infrastructure, Grants, Data and Tools, Coastal Zone Management

NOAA Funding Benefits Massive Flood-Control Initiative

Communities are gaining a greater appreciation for how green infrastructure (also called natural infrastructure) serves as an effective flood reduction technique. In a project receiving over $410,000 in NOAA funding after Superstorm Sandy, the Trust...

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Related to: New York, Coastal Zone Management, Natural Infrastructure, Grants, Data and Tools

Digital Coast Fills Gaps in Engineer's Hazard Studies

Digital Coast resources were used to develop a hazard mitigation plan for Union County, a property tax risk assessment for the Borough of Tuckerton, and studies on pier safety and post-Sandy planning for the City of Hoboken. (2017)

More Information...

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Related to: New Jersey, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Imitating Nature to Decrease Future Flooding

New Jersey coastal communities used a NOAA grant of over $450,000 after Superstorm Sandy to identify nature-based ways of increasing community resilience. Communities were introduced to hard erosion-control structure alternatives. Community-specific...

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Related to: New Jersey, Natural Infrastructure, Coastal Zone Management, Data and Tools, Grants

City Planning Includes Updated Resilience Strategies

Community assets are vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal flooding. This project identified vulnerabilities and prioritized new strategies for improving resilience, including developing evacuation plans, revising stormwater management plans, and...

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Related to: New Jersey, Coastal Zone Management, Grants, Natural Infrastructure, Data and Tools

Annual Erie Coast Event Cleans Away 61,000-Plus Items

Litter trashes the coastal landscape and affects everyone. An initiative co-led by the state’s coastal management program, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, is doing something about it. This effort started in 2003 for Erie County...

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Related to: Pennsylvania, Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Partnership

Data and Imagery Stretch Local Government Dollars

The City of Torrington, like many smaller municipalities, has a one-person “GIS shop” and little funding for data to address land-use concerns that include downtown revitalization and flooding preparedness. Torrington’s GIS manager considers Digital...

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Related to: Connecticut, Data and Tools, Digital Coast

First Stop for New Projects: Digital Coast

The Digital Coast offers many baseline data sets and tools used on a regular basis by Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Management Program for their planning, zoning, and management projects. Examples include the water-depth data available for the...

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Related to: Minnesota, Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Economic and Ecosystem Maps Clarify Great Lakes Restoration Priorities

It’s a given that the Great Lakes’ natural resources and recreational benefits translate into local dollars—but until recently, no one had the economic data mapped with the range of services provided by the natural environment. Without...

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Related to: Economics, Digital Coast, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin

Economic Scorecard Helps Coastal Communities Assess Best Places for Offshore Wind Facilities

Although other nations have used offshore wind facilities for decades, the technology is relatively new to the U.S. and the growth potential is large. Some communities, however, are concerned that wind facilities might have a negative...

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Related to: Economics, Digital Coast, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia

Coastal Program Helps Birds Take a “Tern” for the Better

Life on Interstate Island is brutal for nesting common terns. It’s hard to find suitable rocky grounds to nest on, and they have to fight through 13,000 breeding pairs of gulls (gulls eat tern eggs and chicks) to get there. These issues...

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Related to: Minnesota, Coastal Zone Management, Conservation

First Carbon Market Guidance for Wetlands

In the race to lessen the damage of climate change, the nation’s estuaries are a powerful ally. Acre for acre, wetlands can absorb up to five times as much carbon as rainforests and also store methane and nitrous oxide, two other greenhouse...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Economics, Research, Massachusetts, Data and Tools

Partnership Makes Resilience a Reality

The Resilient Community Partnership leverages NOAA funding to help Delaware communities improve their ability to address inland flooding, coastal storms, sea level rise, and changing climate conditions. This effort is led by the Delaware...

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Related to: Delaware, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education

Team OCEAN Focuses on Boaters and Beachgoers

Team OCEAN (Ocean Conservation Education Action Network) is a boat-based volunteer program supported through a partnership among Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Florida Sea Grant, and local community donors. Volunteers make...

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Related to: Florida, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Partnership

Lidar-Derived Waterway Data Reveals Runoff Threats

Outdated, inaccurate maps made it difficult for people in American Samoa to locate waterway runoff and sediment areas that can imperil coastal and coral reef health. A project to extract information from Digital Coast lidar has given...

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Related to: Digital Coast, American Samoa, Data and Tools

Small-Scale Retrofits Improve Water Quality

At 12 sites on Pivers Island, the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve and the state’s coastal management program joined other state and federal partners in an effort to upgrade water quality and lessen flooding. This was...

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Related to: North Carolina, Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure

“Greening” of Barren Hillsides Lets Sun Shine Bright on Corals

An innovative project funded and co-led by NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program is bringing life-giving sunshine back to coral reefs that shelter reef fish and sea turtles along the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands coast...

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Natural Infrastructure, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)

Five Hundred Rain Barrels Conserve Water

Over the past three years, more than 500 participants have built their own rain barrels at 42 workshops held by the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve and Georgia Coastal Management Program. The rain barrels have spread...

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Related to: Georgia, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure, Conservation

Partnerships Improve Lives and the Community

Through partnerships, the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve positively impacts the coast.

The reserve’s work with the state’s Sea Grant program is funding two fellowships that will expand the “healthy coastal ecosystem...

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Related to: Delaware, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Partnership

Huge Gated Community Embraces Living Shorelines

A workshop on living shorelines and coast-friendly landscaping hosted by the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve motivated a 900-site homeowners’ association to institute a living shorelines committee. This committee is encouraging...

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Related to: Florida, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure

Wild Rice Flourishes along Jug Bay

Working over the past 12 years, the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve – Maryland and Patuxent River Park have succeeded in restoring many of Jug Bay’s stands of wild rice, which are key plants in the wetlands and a major...

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Related to: Maryland, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation

Rapid Response to Invasive Green Crab Threat

While teaching a class at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the reserve educator found a crab noticeably different from crabs typically seen in the area. Upon further investigation, the reserve determined it to be an...

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Related to: Washington, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Partnership

The Future of Chesapeake Oystering and Crabbing Just Got Better

Centuries-old oystering and crabbing activities along the Chesapeake Bay’s Deal Island Peninsula are now vulnerable to flooding, storms, and sea level rise. A partnership involving the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve...

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Related to: Maryland, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Data and Tools

Controlled-Burn Study Improves Maritime Forest Health

An investigative project co-led by the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is studying how prescribed fire can encourage marsh vegetation to migrate upslope into pine savannas. This project has already improved the environment...

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Related to: Mississippi, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Conservation

Clean-Water Turnaround for Northern Lake Erie Coast

A project aimed at lessening flooding and improving water quality through stormwater reduction resulted in water-absorbing plants and other “best practice” methods being installed in various spots across Lake Erie’s northern coast....

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Related to: Ohio, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure, Research

Designing the Post-Invasive Species Forest

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is working with the City of Superior to study the impacts on local forests of an invasive beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer. This beetle has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in...

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Related to: Wisconsin, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Training and Education

Innovative Living Shoreline Stands Up to Fierce Winter Storms

Massachusetts received a NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant to advance the use of “living shorelines,” erosion-control structures that use plants and other natural materials. With the grant, the effectiveness of this approach was...

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Related to: Massachusetts, Coastal Zone Management, Research

Community Boosts Future Flood Resilience during Post-Sandy Recovery

Post-Superstorm Sandy proved to be an ideal time for the Brigantine Island community to implement comprehensive flood-resilience plans. Actions included elevating the only road on and off the island; improving zoning and floodplain...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, New Jersey, Data and Tools, Training and Education, Digital Coast

NOAA Funding Expands Middle Bass Island Wetlands Preserve

Conservation partners saved threatened habitat and wildlife on Ohio’s rapidly developing Middle Bass Island by acquiring land for a forested wetlands preserve. This effort has now expanded thanks to a NOAA-funded purchase of an additional...

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Related to: Ohio, CELCP, Conservation, Other

St. Louis River Watershed’s Economic Benefits Defined

Many residents in the Western Lake Superior region would describe the St. Louis River and watershed as “priceless.” But putting a specific dollar value on these ecosystem services, while difficult, is helpful, particularly when considering...

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Related to: Economics, Digital Coast, Minnesota

Turning to Nature to Address Coastal Erosion

Superstorm Sandy dramatically impacted the coast of New Jersey. Not only did physical aspects of the shoreline change, but so did coastal communities. People started rethinking how coastal resources are managed. Using a grant from NOAA...

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Related to: New Jersey, Coastal Zone Management, Data and Tools, Training and Education, Natural Infrastructure

Data Models Sea Level Rise Exposure for Future Populations

In low-lying coastal areas, populations are rapidly growing and flooding incidents are increasing. Many predictive models do not take the increasing population numbers into consideration, which means projected risk could be higher than what...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Florida, Partnership, Data and Tools

Home Relocations Reduce Flood Risk

Kinston, a city of about 20,000 in Lenoir County, North Carolina, suffered repeated flood losses during the 1990s. Hurricanes Fran, Dennis, and Floyd damaged or flooded more than 75 percent of the county’s homes.

The City of Kinston...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Natural Infrastructure, North Carolina

Higher Elevation for New Roads Helps Address Flooding Issues

Floodwaters resulting from coastal storms often trap St. Tammany Parish residents in their homes and neighborhoods and keep emergency vehicles out. As part of the information needed to find a solution, community officials looked at...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Louisiana, Partnership

Post-Disaster Permitting Is Streamlined and Improved

Building off years of experience with coastal hazards, the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program and Maui County developed new guidelines and protocol to protect sensitive coastal ecosystems and streamline repair and redevelopment permits...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Hawaii, Partnership, Training and Education

Offshore Renewable Energy Planning

To encourage offshore renewable energy projects in areas that pose the least conflict with existing ocean uses and natural resources, Oregon developed a marine spatial plan. This new chapter of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan identifies...

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Related to: Oregon, Coastal Zone Management, Partnership, Research, Training and Education

Coastal Hazards Resilience Network

Despite Washington’s rich history of progressive policies that promote balanced shoreline management, the state’s diverse programs were not optimized to help local planners develop long-term strategies for coastal hazards. Through a NOAA...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Washington, Data and Tools

Land Use Guide for Tsunami Preparedness

The Cascadia Subduction Zone, located 50 miles off the Oregon coast, can produce earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 and higher. A major earthquake along this fault line, a one in three chance within the next 50 years, could result in a tsunami...

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Related to: Oregon, Coastal Zone Management

Benefits of $1 Billion in Restoration Efforts

Since 2009, Harbor Estuary, the most densely developed urban estuary in the nation, has benefited from an investment of over $1 billion to create over 80 habitat restoration and land conservation projects, which includes over 200 acres...

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Related to: Conservation, New York, New Jersey, Other

Red Cross Using NOAA Tool to Pinpoint Vulnerable Populations

The Red Cross is using a NOAA Digital Coast tool, the Coastal County Flood Exposure Snapshot, to communicate vulnerability information to its network members with easy-to-understand tables and graphs.

Mississippi and Louisiana...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Louisiana, Mississippi

Barrier Island Restoration

Barrier islands in Texas are the first line of defense against coastal storms, and the sheltered bays and estuaries located behind them harbor a seafood industry that generates $846 million in sales and supports over 14,000 jobs. However...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Texas, Conservation, Partnership

Coastal Adaptation Workgroup Serves as Local Resilience Specialists

New Hampshire’s coastal management program worked with partners to host a workshop designed to prepare coastal communities for the increasing flood risks associated with severe storms and rising sea levels. The meeting led to the formation...

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Related to: New Hampshire, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coastal Zone Management, Training and Education

High-Wind Building Codes Part of Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The Hawaii Coastal Management Program is helping coastal communities prepare for severe winds and storm surges by developing local hazard mitigation plans. Approval of these plans by the Federal Emergency Management Agency makes the community...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Hawaii, Partnership, Training and Education

CoastSmart Communities Reduce Vulnerabilities

The elevation of many Chesapeake Bay communities is barely seven feet above sea level, and a heavy rainstorm is enough to inundate the roads. Residents have seen severe weather events become more frequent, but they lack the resources to...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Maryland

Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning Guide

The Florida Post-Disaster Redevelopment Planning Guide provides valuable resources for coastal communities. Topics include land use, economic recovery, funding sources, infrastructure, health and social services, and environmental impacts...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Florida, Economics, Partnership, Training and Education

Partnering to Support Clean Marina Program

Michigan’s 750 marinas, nearly one million registered boats, and an abundance of lakes make it a top boating state. However, the inadvertent release of hazardous substances associated with boating practices can harm fish and wildlife...

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Related to: Michigan, Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Training and Education

Relocation of Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County

North of the Piedras Blancas Light Station, California Highway 1 touches the sea where decades of coastal erosion have brought segments of shoreline to the highway’s edge. Plans for relocating the highway inland to avoid costly repairs...

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Related to: California, Coastal Zone Management, Conservation

Fautasi Coastal Challenge Leads Stewardship Efforts

In the American Samoa islands, the traditional way of life includes dense coastal villages with open, thatched-roof homes that are highly vulnerable to damage from cyclones and tsunamis. These villages exist near beaches and coral...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, American Samoa, Conservation, Training and Education

Lake Superior Reserve Works toward Regional Stewardship Goals

Since its designation in 2010, the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, through the efforts of staff members and academic researchers, has supported the mission of long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Wisconsin, Conservation, Training and Education

Marine Debris Removal Grant Used to Exorcise Ghosts of Crabbers Past

Ghost pots—crab traps that have been lost from storms or cut lines—damage sensitive habitats, create navigational hazards, and continue to trap and kill various marine species, including harvestable crabs (a phenomenon called ghost...

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Related to: New Jersey, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Conservation

Environmental Education Supports Tribal Harvests

Over the last decade, the unprecedented loss of wild rice to climate change factors has disrupted traditional tribal harvests of the Lake Superior Ojibwe. The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and University of Wisconsin-Extension...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Partnership, Wisconsin, Training and Education

Stormwater Study Focuses on Grand Strand Beaches

Along South Carolina’s Grand Strand, there are unique estuarine “swashes” (altered tidal creeks) that run parallel to the beach and transport and filter stormwater and groundwater before dropping this wastewater into the ocean.

The...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, South Carolina, Research

Climate Trainings Started Here Impact other Coastal States

Climate change is perhaps the leading environmental issue of our time, but local officials often need help understanding potential impacts on the local level and which adaptation strategies make the most sense for their situation.

...

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Related to: Washington, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Data and Tools

Headwaters Important for Salmon Health

Headwater streams can be overlooked when it comes to salmon conservation and management, but is this the right approach? The Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve wanted to contribute scientific information to help answer...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Research, Alaska

Protecting Wetland Forests from Invasive Species

The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees in the Great Lakes region over the past decade. Natural resource managers in Wisconsin are particularly concerned about the resulting domino effect on riverine...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Wisconsin, Conservation, Partnership

Invasive Cordgrass Eradicated in Padilla Bay

Spartina, often known as cordgrass, provides critical coastal habitat along the Gulf and East Coasts. On the West Coast, it’s a different story. Here this nonnative aquatic grass is an invasive species. Spartina overcrowds mudflat habitat...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Washington, Research

Identifying the Environmental Impacts of Land Use Near the Grand Bay

The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve partnered with Dauphin Island Sea Lab to investigate how future human activity and natural changes could influence economically important habitats and water quality. Researchers looked...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Mississippi, Conservation, Partnership, Research

School Busses and Wetlands Benefit from Restoration Project

A critical entry road for the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and its partner Fennessey Ranch eroded to the point of eliminating school bus entry and blocking critical water flow to the wetlands. The reserve worked with...

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Related to: Texas, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education

Gulf Coast Conservation Corps Partnership Proves Beneficial for All

The Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast is a program that helps young adults gain valuable environmental work experience and education. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve is a beneficiary of this effort. The cooperative...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Florida, Training and Education, Partnership

Marsh Mapping Techniques Piloted in Rhode Island

Monitoring data from the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve and the Rhode Island Salt Marsh Assessment show that rapid degradation of salt marshes in the area is likely caused by sea level rise. Resource managers and policy makers needed...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Rhode Island, Data and Tools

Stewardship and Cultural Education Thrives with Tribal Relationships

“Preserving Our Homeland” is a tribal youth program that brings together western science and tribal knowledge about fish, water, and plants in the Waquoit Bay. Participants report an increased interest in natural sciences and improved...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Massachusetts, Training and Education

Forest Management Program Developed by Research Reserve

Maine is the most forested state in the nation and also has the highest percentage of privately owned forestland. Natural landscapes play an important role in maintaining water quality and wildlife habitat, and represent prime attractions...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Training and Education, Maine

Improving Stormwater Management in the Watershed

Population growth is straining municipal stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, placing water quality and public health at risk. Communities are also facing new, more stringent permit requirements for discharging stormwater and wastewater...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, New Hampshire, Partnership, Training and Education

Communities Make the Switch to Natural Infrastructure

A rise in development and impervious surfaces is forcing rivers and streams to carry unfiltered stormwater runoff to New Hampshire’s Great Bay, where the runoff is contributing to declining fisheries and increasing amounts of invasive...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, New Hampshire, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education

Role-Playing Game Effective for Climate Change Planning

“Serious games” was an approach used to help four communities talk about climate change. More than 500 people participated in role-play climate change adaptation workshops. Four research reserves and other project partners, including...

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Related to: Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education

Innovative Stormwater Treatment Practices Introduced to Ohio

With more frequent heavy storms, traditional “pipe and pond” approaches to treating stormwater fail to adequately prevent flooding and protect water quality.

The Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve worked with the...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education, Ohio

Thirty Years of Fishery Data Now Available

Analysis of 30 years’ worth of larval fish samples from three research reserves is now available through www.SEAMAP.org. Fisheries management decisions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are benefiting from this information. Access...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Research, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina

New Ecotourism Certification Program

Jobos Bay is the source of much of the economy for Salinas and Guayama, Puerto Rico, and other surrounding communities. To further ecotourism businesses, the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve worked with the Initiative for...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Puerto Rico, Economics

Wetland Restoration at Elkhorn Slough

Fifty percent, or 1,000 acres, of Elkhorn Slough’s salt marshes have been lost over the past 150 years. The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is a leader in a groundbreaking effort to conserve and restore this resource...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, California, Conservation

Citizen Scientists Collect Horseshoe Crab Data

Every spring, during the new and full moon high tides, volunteers count horseshoe crabs on key beaches in Delaware and New Jersey. These data are used to set harvest limits and develop conservation plans. One way the Delaware National...

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Related to: Delaware, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Research, Conservation, Data and Tools

Study Provides Baseline Data and Triages Adaptation Needs

The Kachemak Bay coast is in a challenging situation. Local ice fields are melting rapidly, while at the same time the coast continues to experience “uplift” from a powerful earthquake that rocked the area in 1964. Estimates for sea...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Alaska, Research

New Policies Please Hunters and the Reserves

An agreement with hunting association leaders was reached that promotes managed hunting in a popular research reserve and protects reserve resources. Approximately 176 acres of salt flats, mangrove channels, and salty lagoons in the Jobos...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Puerto Rico, Conservation, Training and Education

Wetland Loss Causes Organizations to Spring into Action

Southern California’s coastal environments are under intense development pressure. In the Tijuana River Valley, wetland loss is particularly prevalent.

To document wetland importance and wetland recovery needs, the Tijuana River...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, California, Partnership, Data and Tools

Creating a Flood-Ready Community

A new training program for community and municipal leaders prepares towns for current and future flood risks. The training begins with an overview of current conditions and moves on to include climate change and sea level rise implications...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Delaware, Training and Education

Flooding Resilience Plan Developed for Hudson River Communities

Flooding from peak tides and tropical storms cost the city of Kingston, New York, millions of dollars. This led to the creation of the Kingston Tidal Waterfront Flooding Task Force and a partnership with the Hudson River National Estuarine...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, New York, Data and Tools

Efforts to Establish Blue Carbon Markets Underway

Blue carbon is the carbon captured and stored in coastal ecosystems (marshes, mangroves, and seagrass beds). Acre for acre, these habitats can store up to five times more carbon than tropical rainforests. A Massachusetts research reserve...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Conservation, Oregon

Using Lidar to Plan for Sea Level Rise

Since the late 1800s, farmers in Oregon have been diking estuarine wetlands for their own agricultural benefit. With sea level rise imminent, knowing the location and condition of the dikes, as well as who is responsible for maintenance...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Oregon, Data and Tools

Assessing Oyster Reef Conditions

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve led the establishment of a new Oyster and Water Quality Task Force focused on the Northeast Florida region. Membership includes researchers, state and local agencies, fisherman...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Florida, Partnership, Research

First Tribal National Park in United States

An essential part of the coastal management effort is protecting and preserving important natural resources for future generations. The acquisition of 89 acres of old-growth forest and a quarter-mile of shoreline along Lake Superior led...

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Related to: CELCP, Conservation, Wisconsin

Waterfront Revitalization Promotes Long-Term Economic Stability

The waterfront town of Clayton, New York, and the village of Clayton within the town, serve as the centerpiece of the Thousand Islands region. With common goals of increasing public access to the St. Lawrence River, revitalizing downtown...

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Related to: Economics, Partnership, Coastal Zone Management, New York

Advancing Living Shorelines along the Gulf Coast

Traditional hard erosion-control structures such as sea walls and bulkheads can increase erosion, damage habitat, and set the stage for expensive repairs in the future. Living shorelines, which incorporate natural structures and systems...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Natural Infrastructure, Alabama, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Mississippi, Partnership

CZM Funds Emergency Response Initiative

Natural disasters don’t obey jurisdictional response boundaries. That’s why four northeastern Minnesota counties formed a partnership to improve emergency response efficiency for a region just slightly larger than the state of Massachusetts...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Partnership, Minnesota

Valuing the Ecosystem Services of Watersheds

Along the coast, the need to conserve natural buffers for rivers and wetlands has become a source of tension between development and conservation interests. To help address this issue, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve developed...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, education, conservation, Maine

Protecting Water Quality through Marsh Restoration

A study led by the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is being used to determine appropriate levels of marsh restoration in terms of cost and effectiveness.

Weeks Bay teamed with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to study...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Conservation, Economics, Alabama

Lessons Learned from Sandy Brought to Maine

In the Sandy Dialogues, the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve gave Maine communities a vision of what the future might hold. Working with colleagues at the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Wells staff took...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Partnership, Data and Tools, Maine

A Future for Native Oysters along the Pacific Coast

Native oysters are in decline along the Pacific Coast. A team led by the Elkhorn Slough and San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves investigated the causes, including impacts from climate change. With this information...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, California, Research, Data and Tools

Citizen Science Powers Research Reserve

With 372,000 acres, the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is the largest in the national system. Here volunteers connect with their local environment by playing an important role in the management of the site and as...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Alaska, Research, Training and Education

Project Slows Down Amount of Stormwater Runoff

Increased stormwater runoff from urbanization is causing nuisance and dangerous street flooding along the North Carolina coast. It’s also the number-one threat to water quality, leading to beach-swimming advisories and shellfish-harvesting...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, North Carolina, Natural Infrastructure

Managing Freshwater for the Future

Population growth and sea level rise are taxing the freshwater needs of the Rookery Bay estuary. The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserves designed a hydrologic model of the watershed to determine the impacts of potential land...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Florida, Data and Tools

Forecasting Dangerous Currents Makes Beaches Safer

A disproportionate number of incidents related to dangers currents have occurred in Lake Michigan. The Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program undertook a comprehensive program designed to improve current forecasting and messaging...

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Related to: Michigan, Coastal Zone Management, Training and Education, Data and Tools

Water Trails Spur Ecotourism

Water trails represent a way to promote use and enjoyment of Michigan’s shoreline and spur economic development.

Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program grants were used to expand the development of trails, access points, and...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Michigan

The First Research Reserve – South Slough

On June 27, 1974, the South Slough Sanctuary in Oregon was dedicated as the first site in what is now known as the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. South Slough is one of 28 research reserves around the country dedicated to research...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Oregon

Determining Tsunami Exposure

Although a potential tsunami-inundation zone had been delineated in Oregon, officials needed information about what was located in this area to determine what additional preparedness and response measures were needed.

The U.S. Geological...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Oregon, Data and Tools

Pinpointing Rip Currents

Rip currents—strong channels of water that flow out from the shore—claim more lives annually than tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, and floods combined. Lake Michigan swimmers will be much safer from the risk of rip currents and other...

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Related to: Minnesota, Coastal Zone Management, Research

Fort Lauderdale Climate Adaptation Plan Approved

Fort Lauderdale was a pilot community in a National Coastal Zone Management Program initiative focused on preparing communities for sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Fort Lauderdale has taken on this resilience challenge. Its...

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Related to: Florida, Coastal Zone Management

Land Cover Data used to Analyze Sedimentation

Clear-cut timber harvests contribute to excess sediment loads in streams, eventually leading to problems for estuaries. However, timber harvest records on private lands are not centralized or available in GIS format, making it difficult...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Conservation, Oregon, Data and Tools

Visualizations Drive Home Flood Risk Message

A number of Green Bay, Wisconsin, residents don’t realize how close they are to potential floodwaters from Lake Michigan, leaving these residents susceptible to costly property damage from strong coastal storms.

To communicate this...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Wisconsin, Data and Tools, Training and Education

Adaptation Planning Paid Off for This Community

Bridgeport, Connecticut, officials understood the need to improve their climate preparedness. City leaders therefore held several climate preparedness workshops and identified the community’s top hazards and priorities for action. Particularly...

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Related to: Connecticut, Digital Coast, Natural Infrastructure, Data and Tools

Visualizing Locally Relevant Sea Level Rise Scenarios

Saipan is highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and variability, especially rising sea levels. Coastal managers there sought a means of analyzing and communicating coastal flooding scenarios.

The Commonwealth of...

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Related to: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Grants Support Local Climate Change Adaptation

Eighteen grants totaling $3 million were awarded by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management to be used to reduce community risk and enhance natural protection from coastal storms, erosion, and sea level rise. This second...

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Related to: Massachusetts, Coastal Zone Management, Natural Infrastructure

Major Flood Forecast Gap Repaired for Houston Area

Local and state officials depend on National Weather Service flood forecasts. Previously, text-only forecasts about river heights were provided, but these forecasts didn’t show potential flood areas.

Several federal and state partners...

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Related to: Texas, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Identifying Habitat Loss, Prioritizing Restoration

The nonprofit Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership—supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, the states of Oregon and Washington, and other entities—is working to preserve and restore the natural...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Conservation, Data and Tools

Assessing Potential Hazard Risk in Tutuila

The seven islands that compose the U.S. territory of American Samoa are at risk from a variety of natural hazards. To mitigate the impact, NOAA and the American Samoa Coastal Management Program developed on online hazard assessment...

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Related to: American Samoa, Digital Coast, Coastal Zone Management, Data and Tools

First Nature Reserve Trail for the Blind in Puerto Rico

The Punta Tuna Nature Reserve, together with the Puerto Rico Coastal Management Program, developed the first trail that provides improved access people with disabilities. The initiative is serving as a model for other research reserves...

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Related to: Puerto Rico, Coastal Zone Management, Training and Education, Data and Tools

New Web Portal Helps Decision Makers Visualize Coastal Hazards

Since the last hurricane to significantly impact Georgia was Dora in 1964, many coastal residents don’t realize their storm vulnerability. The Georgia Coastal Hazard Portal is an information resource working to correct that problem as...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Georgia, Data and Tools, Training and Education

New Tool to Predict Storm Inundation

The Rhode Island Coastal Management Program, working with the University of Rhode Island and others, developed a simplified model to predict storm inundation.

STORMTOOLS uses NOAA data to provide storm surge predictions for 10-...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, Rhode Island, Data and Tools

Getting City Kids to the Shore

It can be hard to believe, but there are children in coastal counties that have never experienced the feel of sand beneath their feet. This reality is an all-to-common occurrence in cities like Savannah, Georgia, where an experience...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Georgia, Training and Education

Graduate Student Work Leads to New Protections for this Watershed

A graduate student’s research led to a water quality and land use conference and to new protections for the Lamprey River watershed.

A graduate research fellow at the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve conducted research...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, New Hampshire, Research, Training and Education

Climate Education Assistance

Many coastal educators find teaching about local climate change impacts to be challenging. Teachers in Virginia requested help with this task, and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve responded.

Climate Education...

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Related to: Virginia, Training and Education, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Monitoring Salmonid Fishery Restoration

The Klawock River watershed and lagoon system has over 132 miles of streams that serve as spawning habitat for at least seven salmonid fish species. The construction of a causeway contributed to a decline in returning salmon and trout...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Partnership, Alaska, Data and Tools

Modeling Future Development for Eastern North Carolina

Civilian and military population growth is impacting natural resource near military installations in eastern North Carolina.

The Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability and the U.S. Geological Survey conducted...

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Related to: North Carolina, Digital Coast, Data and Tools

Mapping the Urban Realm to Enhance Community Resilience

Tropical urban forests provide recreational benefits and a wide range of environmental services, including protection from storms, sea level rise, and coastal erosion, and protection for coral reefs and nearshore marine ecosystems. The...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Hawaii, Conservation, Partnership, Data and Tools

Wetlands Restoration Is Fulfilling a Community Vision

Agricultural changes to the Heeia wetlands, once known for abundant taro crops and naturally healthy fishponds, resulted in increased runoff, invasive species, and sedimentation. Concerned community members consulted with local elders and...

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Related to: Hawaii, Coastal Zone Management, Economics

Digital Coast Tools used in Post-Sandy Planning

With preliminary damage estimates nearing $50 billion, the impact of Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy emphasized the need for coastal communities to plan for future hazard and climate change impacts. Coastal communities in New York started...

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Related to: Digital Coast, New York, Training and Education

NOAA Awards $878,000 for Guam Coastal Management Program

NOAA awarded $878,000 in federal grant assistance to support the Guam Coastal Management Program. This voluntary federal-state partnership supports jobs and provides continued assistance to address important coastal issues, including coastal...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Guam, Training and Education

Prioritizing Restoration and Conservation Efforts

Maryland officials participated in a NOAA training course and used the lessons learned to map the state’s ecological network and identified land with important ecological and biodiversity characteristics such as submerged aquatic vegetation...

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Related to: Natural Infrastructure, Coastal Zone Management, Maryland, Conservation, Training and Education

Coordinated Disaster Response Planning in the Gulf of Mexico

With Sandy, Katrina, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it’s clear the nation’s coasts are at risk from major natural and man-made hazards. Coastal resource managers in the Gulf of Mexico are taking steps to ensure improved preparation...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Mississippi, Training and Education

Building Community Resilience

Chester, the oldest city in Pennsylvania, has experienced population and economic decline. In 1995 the city was declared financially distressed, but recent revitalization efforts have repurposed portions of the abandoned industrial riverfront...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Pennsylvania

An Improved Community Streetscape Improves Coastal Resilience

Officials in the Town of Fairfield, Connecticut, received a state grant to fund downtown streetscape improvements, including a rain garden, tree plantings, additional green space, and other features. These improvements were designed to...

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Related to: Digital Coast, green infrastructure, Connecticut

A Social Marketing Campaign Targets Litter in Laolao Bay

For years, litter has marred the scenery and threatened the popular Laolao Bay’s fragile ecosystem. A yearlong social marketing campaign—Our Laolao—inspired locals and visitors to clean up Saipan’s Laolao Bay and watershed. The campaign...

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Training and Education

Beach Access and Water Quality App Released

Coastal tourism is a major contributor to South Carolina’s economy, and a key policy goal of South Carolina's coastal zone management program is the preservation, enhancement, and promotion of public access. The new South Carolina Beach...

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Related to: South Carolina, Coastal Zone Management, Data and Tools

Historical Shipwreck Designated as Underwater Preserve

The J.D. Marshall Preserve, encompassing approximately 100 acres of Lake Michigan, is the first underwater preserve in Indiana to protect a historic shipwreck. The Lake Michigan Coastal Management Program secured funding, and five divisions...

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Related to: Indiana, Coastal Zone Management, Conservation

Visualizing the Impacts of Sea Level Rise

With sea levels expected to rise and exacerbate existing flooding problems, government officials felt the need to assess and address community vulnerability.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Delaware, Data and Tools

Shade-Grown Coffee Protects Coral Reefs in Puerto Rico

Runoff from agriculture, deforestation, and coastal development threaten coral reef ecosystems. Coffee farmers in southwestern Puerto Rico, an area that receives over 100 inches of rainfall annually, worked with scientists to reduce agricultural...

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Puerto Rico, Conservation

Volunteer Storm Team Elevates Water Quality Issues

An elite group of volunteers quickly mobilizes during heavy rain events along the Samish River in Washington State to collect important water quality data. This information is used by the coastal officials who make decisions about commercial...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Washington, Research, Partnership

Resilience Taking Root in Coastal Zone

Dunes are the first line of protection against coastal storms, holding together the beach and protecting the homes and businesses behind them. Beach grass represents a good sand anchor and a critical component of a healthy dune system....

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Related to: New Hampshire, Coastal Zone Management, Natural Infrastructure, Conservation

Regulating a Quarry to Reduce Environmental Impacts

American Samoa developed a corrective action plan to mitigate massive erosion and sedimentation runoff from a major quarry (Samoa Maritime). This runoff was threatening coastal habitat and water quality. The plan requires the quarry...

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Related to: American Samoa, Coastal Zone Management, Partnership

Citizen Scientists Play Key Role in Sea Turtle Nest Patrol and Outreach

Of six sea turtle species that nest on beaches in the continental United States, all are designated as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Over 90 percent of their nests are located on the beaches of Florida...

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Related to: Florida, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Partnership, Research

Bringing Tsunami Preparedness to Maine

With a grant from the NOAA National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, a comprehensive tsunami response plan was developed for Maine’s Boothbay Harbor. The tsunami-warning protocol ensures that detection of any threat is communicated as...

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Related to: Maine, Coastal Zone Management, Training and Education

States Partner for Great Lakes Coastal Grant Managers’ Call

The Illinois and Indiana Lake Michigan coastal programs started a monthly conference call for staff members working with grants. The goal is to improve coordination and determine the best approaches for advancing coastal management in the...

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Related to: Partnership, Coastal Zone Management, Illinois, Indiana

Comparing Differences in Tsunami Sensitivity along the Coast

Historical geological evidence shows that the coast of Washington is vulnerable to high-magnitude tsunamis. To understand the potential impacts, state and local leaders sought help developing local risk-reduction strategies.

In cooperation...

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Related to: Washington, Digital Coast, Research, Data and Tools

Driving Conservation along the Coast

The Edisto Island Preservation Alliance is dedicated to preserving the island’s historical, cultural, and natural heritage and promoting growth and prosperity. The alliance developed a management plan that included a variety of strategies...

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Related to: Digital Coast, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, South Carolina

Permits Issued for First Offshore Wind Farm

The country’s first offshore wind farm received the needed permits from the State of Rhode Island in 2014. Crucial to the approval was the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program and the Ocean Special Area Management Plan,...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Rhode Island, Training and Education

Visualizing Living Shoreline Aesthetics

The Maryland Living Shorelines Protection Act is an effort to reduce erosion, promote natural processes, and enhance natural habitat. The law encourages people to forego hard structures such as seawalls and instead adopt “living shorelines...

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Related to: Natural Infrastructure, Conservation, Digital Coast, Maryland, Data and Tools