Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Reducing Coastal Risk

Main content start

Funding Year: 2018

Research Areas: Climate, Oceans

Regions: North America

Understanding the increasing risk posed by coastal floods and erosion and the benefits of natural defenses, such as reef and wetland restoration, is critical to governments and private industry. 


In order to benefit from natural defense systems on the coast, in addition to action by governments, private sector risk assessment firms such as RMS, AIR, Moodys, and Fitch must rate these benefits for investors and risk managers. Valuation of the current risk reduction benefits from habitats during extreme events and assessment of the long-term stability and effectiveness of habitats in response to these extreme events are two major challenges. Building on work from the combined efforts of Stanford, The Natural Capital Project, The Nature Conservancy, and their partners at IH Cantabria, UCSC and USGS, this project will develop fragility curves, which denote the expected extent of damage to structures by extreme events. This data will allow risk managers to describe the long-term effectiveness of coastal habitats, transfer information to industry models and tools and help unlock funding for the conservation and restoration of natural defenses.

Learn more about the Realizing Environmental Innovation Program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Jenny Suckale, Professor of Geophysics and by courtesy, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jack Baker, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Related News