Coasts and oceans represent some of the earth’s most valued ecosystems. For example, in the U.S., about 40% of the U.S. population lives in coastal counties, which make up only 10% of the U.S. land base. Yet these coastal and marine ecosystems that we love are also some of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet. Coastal and marine ecosystems are dealing with multiple simultaneous threats including rising temperatures, ocean acidification, nutrient pollution, habitat loss, and extreme weather events. This webinar will examine how each of these stressors is impacting the ability of coastal and marine ecosystems to continue to provide the important services on which these biodiverse communities depend and how the changes in ecosystem services are impacting human health and well-being. The discussion will conclude with suggestions for how we can help coastal and marine ecosystems be more resilient and continue to provide critical ecosystem services.
Dr. Ariana Sutton-Grier is an ecosystem ecologist with expertise in wetland ecology and restoration, biodiversity, biogeochemistry, climate change, and ecosystem services. Dr. Sutton-Grier is a research faculty member at the University of Maryland in the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center and is also the Ecosystem Science Adviser for the National Ocean Service at NOAA.
Pursuing Sustainability Along Crowded Coastlines: Lessons from Ecological Experiments and Homeowner Experiences
Coastal habitats along shorelines host diverse ecological communities and provide numerous ecosystem services that affect the health, security and quality of life of human societies. However, the armoring of shorelines with vertical walls and similar engineered structures, is a prevalent cause of natural habitat loss and degradation. Although the societal and ecological costs of degraded habitats are well-recognized and stewardship strategies such as “living shorelines” have proven beneficial for recovering declined or lost services, coastal population size and development have continued to expand. Transitioning towards more sustainable coastal protection strategies requires substantial societal support and investments. This webinar will highlight recent and ongoing efforts to understand the social and economic factors that promote sustainable decision-making along residential coastlines, as well as how these decisions scale up to affect the overall resilience of coastal ecosystems.
Dr. Steven Scyphers graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of South Alabama & Dauphin Island Sea Lab in 2012 and currently works at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts focusing on understanding and enhancing the sustainability of coastal ecosystems and societies.
This workshop provided a pre-conference primer on the technical inputs, planning and zoning drivers, potential solutions, policy implications, and framework for future development in coastal adaptation design and implementation.
Presenters - Please click on the name to access conference power point slides.
Kirk Bosma, Woods Hole Group Elisabeth Hamin, Professor and Department Head of Regional Planning in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts, PI of the SAGE grant Chris Hein, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary Melissa Kenny, University of Maryland Kim Penn, NOAA Bhaskar Subramanian, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Ariana Sutton-Grier, University of Maryland and NOAA
Webinar Series - '15- '16
Decrypting hazards from their deposits: Tsunamis and Storms Friday, February 5, 2016 at 1:00pm EST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Et1wjF1gV4&feature=em-subs_digest Dr. Robert Weiss is an Associate Professor of Geosciences at Virginia Tech, where he has been on the faculty since 2008, first as an Assistant Professor of Geology and Geophysics, and as of 2011, as an Associate Professor of Geosciences. He graduated from the Westfalia-Wilhelms University in Münster, Germany with a Dr. rer nat (equivalent to PhD in Natural Sciences) in 2005. He was a research scientist at NOAA Center for Tsunami Re-search from 2005 to 2008. His research is focused on understanding the response of the physical environment to tsunami generated by earthquakes, slides and oceanic meteorite impacts and the records that such processes produce. Tsunamis and storms are major agents of coastal change, and pose a significant threat to coastal communities, civil and military infrastructure and to economies. Oenmes, tsunamis and storms are competing processes along the same stretches of coastline, and it is important to separate the event history in order to create a reliable statistical basis for solid hazard assessments.Fortunately, neither enough tsunamis nor storms have occurred in any one region to base the event statistics solely on recent events. Therefore, the geologic record needs to be interrogated. The information of causative events encrypted in respective deposits needs to be decrypted. In this talk, the features of storm and tsunami deposits are dis-cussed, and how quantitative information about storms and tsunamis can be retrieved from deposits. Examples from different tsunamis, such as 2004 Sumatra, and the 2006 Java tsunami are presented among others, and event deposits are discussed whose grain size range from small sand-size particles to car-sized boulders. Geology, Engineering and Policy in Disaster Risk Reduction Friday, December 4, 2015 11:00 - 11:45 am EST https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK5JF79TwbM&feature=em-upload_owner Dr. Brian G. McAdoo is Professor of Environmental Science and College Rector, Yale-NUS College, Singapore Disasters in the Anthropocene are becoming increasingly complex. Rural landscapes in developing nations have been radically altered by centuries of colonial wear-and-tear. The following post-colonial instabilities left a legacy of fragile political institutions. Driven lack of economic opportunity, increasing out migration of rural populations to urban, often coastal centers facing their own challenges posed by a rapidly changing and erratic climate has created any number of worst-case scenarios. This talk seeks to first identify these complexities, then recognize the roles that the different stakeholders play in addressing problems in a truly interdisciplinary fashion. Yale-NUS College Professor of Environmental Science Brian G. McAdoo is a marine geologist who has been working at the ocean-land interface for 20 years. Seeing the devastation wrought by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami first hand as a member of the UNESCO Post-Tsunami Survey Team triggered a shift in thinking from an approach to understanding disasters from purely physical or social perspectives to one more integrated, recognizing the inseparability of the human-environment system. Since 2004, McAdoo has participated in numerous post-disaster surveys, and authored several papers documenting the associated complexities. He received his BS in Geology from Duke University, a Dip. Sci (Geology) from University of Otago (New Zealand), and Ph.D. (Earth Science) from UC Santa Cruz.
When facing natural disasters, communities respond in diverse ways, with processes that reflect their cultures, stakeholder needs, and risks. As more individuals live in vulnerable areas, it is critical to understand how the public perceives risks, such as the risk of floods, hurricanes, and sea level rise. How and the extent to which the public participate in local-level decision-making processes surrounding resilience may influence policy outcomes. Dr. Albright’s research suggests that the greater level of openness (breadth of participation) and extent of deliberation are associated with greater policy change. In her talk, she will apply lessons learned from her research on participatory processes and apply them to the Caribbean and North East context, in the end, posing research questions for future study.
Climate Change: Challenge or Opportunity for Infrastructure Barbara Carbyis the Director of the Disaster Risk Reduction Centre, University of the West Indies. She is a disaster risk management professional with over 20 years national, regional and international experience in disaster risk reduction, pre and post disaster planning and interventions.
Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels are a major factor in observed climate change trends at global and regional scales. Over the past half century, US Northeast has been experiencing warming air and sea temperatures, increasing precipitation and flooding, and rising sea levels. These trends are projected to increase and even accelerate over the next several decades. Coastal communities and infrastructure are particularly vulnerable to the combination of elevated sea level and storm surge in a warming world. This talk will discuss observational evidence for current regional climate trends and modeling approaches for projecting future trends.
As is the case with other small island developing states around the world, Barbados and its Caribbean island neighbors are experiencing significant effects from sea level rise in particular and coastal climate change impacts in general. Countries have addressed this issue differently, with Barbados widely regarded as a regional model for coastal management and resilience, whereas in states such as Haiti, active management is still in a nascent stage. It has been shown that the extent to which states address this issue is influenced by: public access to, and use of, information, technical capacity of public servants and officers of non-Governmental organizations, and the recognition by policy makers that climate change is not an environmental issue but a danger to economic and social improvement. Using the Barbados case as an example, the presentation explores the Caribbean context, and provides some recommendations on technical imperatives for these vulnerable island systems that depend so heavily on coastal tourism and fisheries.
Hurricane Sandy and the federal, state, and community efforts to rebuild and adapt to future storms and sea level rise has posed both challenges and opportunities for meeting long term restoration goals in the NY – NJ Harbor Estuary. In particular, HUD’s Rebuild by Design initiative, the Army Corps of Engineers, the State and City of New York have proposed nature-based features, living shorelines, and/or green infrastructure approaches to help reduce risks while providing other important environmental and social benefits. This presentation will provide an overview of the planning, science, regulatory, management issues that have emerged from these efforts, highlighting opportunities for additional investigation and research. The New York¬/New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program is a collaboration of government, scientists and the civic sector that helps protect and restore the Harbor’s waters and habitat.
In the face of rising waters and increased storm-related flooding, we cannot ignore the need to make hard decisions about how to equitably manage flood-prone areas. If we do nothing, up to one-third of the city of Boston (by land area) could flood chronically by 2100. Our challenge is to prepare Boston’s people, buildings, and infrastructure to manage increasingly-frequent coastal flooding while maintaining and enhancing the economic and social vitality of this historic city. As sea levels rise and chronic flooding becomes the new normal, even master dike builders such as the Dutch are moving to more flexible, resilient solutions. Their concept of Living with Water considers water to be a design opportunity to manage chronic flooding while providing other benefits such as new recreation areas, marsh habitat, and more livable communities. Both flood prevention and resilience are needed; socioeconomic goals and available resources will dictate the balance between the two.