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Integrating Coastal Vulnerability Modeling and Land-Use Planning Strategies

Funding Year: 
2015
Region(s): 
North America
Research Areas: 
Oceans

Communities throughout California are responding to the threats of rising sea levels, growing coastal populations and more damaging storms by building armoring concrete and metal structures that may threaten the continued existence of beaches, dunes, wetlands and other coastal habitats. This project's collaborative, interdisciplinary team composed of researchers from the Center for Ocean Solutions and the Natural Capital Project will work with planners throughout the state to inform and prioritize nature-based climate adaptation strategies. In collaboration with state-level coastal agency staff, the team will develop an online visualization tool that will identify priority sites where coastal habitats can best provide protection from coastal hazards and will then highlight policy pathways for implementing nature-based strategies. They will create and test a sustainable model of delivering, updating and maintaining the visualization tool for decision makers in California and beyond. Ultimately, the team aims to inform the implementation of sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to a concrete and metal-reinforced coastline, promoting the strategic use of natural habitats to protect people and property now and for future generations.