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You are here: Home Projects Coastal Resiliency Designing Sustainable Coastal Landscapes in the Face of Sea-level Rise and Storms

Designing Sustainable Coastal Landscapes in the Face of Sea-level Rise and Storms

Coastal Designing Sustainable Landscapes

Under a cooperative agreement funded by the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Mitigation Fund, Designing Sustainable Coastal Landscapes in the Face of Sea-level Rise and Storms, will add needed coastally relevant information to the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project for the North Atlantic region.

The North Atlantic LCC and the University of Massachusetts Landscape Ecology Lab have a cooperative agreement under the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Mitigation Fund entitled Designing Sustainable Coastal Landscapes in the Face of Sea-level Rise and Storms.

This project will add needed coastally relevant information to the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project. The index of ecological integrity, which is a major component of the NA LCC modeling framework, identifies places that are predicted to be able to sustain ecological functions over time.  Two new stressor metrics, tidal restrictions and salt marsh ditching, will be developed and incorporated into the ecological integrity assessment.  In addition, landscape capability predictions, composed of separate models of habitat capability, climate suitability and prevalence, will be developed for tidal marsh obligate species, piping plover and other coastal species. These products, in combination with the regional sea level rise model developed with support from the Northeast Climate Science Center, will be tested and refined with input from LCC partners and coastal decision makers. Various conservation designs that incorporate an improved representation of the coastal zone’s specific concerns will be examined for protection and restoration planning along the North Atlantic coast.

The regional sea level rise model has been incorporated within the Designing Sustainable Landscapes project and was used as a separate overlay in the map products derived from the NA LCC’s Regional Conservation Opportunity Area process. Landscape capability models have been prepared for Piping plover, American oystercatcher and Sanderling. The Saltmarsh sparrow model is in the process of being evaluated with regional saltmarsh habitat and avian research program (SHARP) data. In addition, sea level rise and urban growth have been incorporated in a future landscape capability black duck model (nonbreeding), as part of a decision support tool developed in collaboration with the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture. The tidal restriction stressor metric is in the final stages of verification and the data availability for the salt marsh ditching stressor metric has been verified. Final products are due at the end of December 2016.

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Mitigation Funds

The coastal zone of the entire NA LCC region, ME to VA