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Coastal Impact Stories

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

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New Program Enriches 25 Years of Environmental Education

A stewardship program for older schoolchildren soon will join a popular, two-day field trip for fourth graders at Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Research Reserve.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Training and Education, Maryland

Eye in Sky Monitors Resource Threats

Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s an unmanned aerial vehicle used by a Pacific commonwealth’s coastal program to spot natural resource dangers.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Conservation, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)

Filtration System Keeps Saipan Lagoon Cleaner

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ coastal program made the system feasible by updating environmental regulations and fining those who don’t comply.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)

Wetlands Restoration Is Fulfilling a Community Vision

Heʻeia’s restored wetlands on Oahu are already providing benefits such as increased food security, water quality, and native species.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Natural Infrastructure, Partnership, Hawaii

Wild Rice Initiative Will Restore Native Coastal Wetland Species

A NOAA-supported project to map Lake Superior locations of wild rice and foster its cultivation preserves the cultural legacy of the region’s Native Americans.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, National Estuarine Research Reserve, Top Stories, Conservation, Data and Tools, Grants, Partnership, Training and Education, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan

Targeted Outreach Tackles Invasive Eucalyptus Threat

The Elkhorn Slough Research Reserve’s approved plan to remove some invasive eucalyptus and replant with native species will leave a healthier, more diverse ecosystem.

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

Parasite-Host Findings Aid Knowledge of Temperature Impacts

Research reserve data from seven states contributed to one of the first U.S. studies to quantify how temperature-parasite interactions affect the survival of both parasites and their hosts.

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Partnership, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia

Veterans Benefit from Nature’s Power to Heal and Teach

Programs help military veterans adjust to civilian life through on-the job training and outdoor activities.

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserve, Conservation, Training and Education, Partnership, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, Puerto Rico

NOAA Expands Coastal Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Creating sign language for “estuary” and other coastal terms, and trails that accommodate wheelchairs and the needs of the visually impaired—these are just two of the contributions from research reserves and coastal zone management programs.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserve, Top Stories, Grants, Partnership, Alabama, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Virginia

Learning about Estuarine Ecosystems in American Sign Language

Three New England research reserves, the Center for Research and Training at The Learning Center for the Deaf, and Boston University create an immersive instructional experience for educators of the Deaf, aided by a NOAA grant.

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Grants, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island

Nature-Based Shoreline Workshops Given Top Marks

An overwhelming majority of Lake Erie shoreline engineers, designers, and landowners surveyed intend to apply what they learned.

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

Creating a Flood-Ready Community

A leadership training, now in its fifth year, has taught one hundred-plus participants ways to lessen local flood risks by enacting practical plans, codes, and ordinances.

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

NOAA Rehabs Puerto Rico Reefs,Trails, and Flood Maps

The agency joined with partners to reattach more than 7,000 coral reef fragments, restore a research reserve’s entire trail system, and provide flood-risk maps and training.

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Related to: Top Stories, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Digital Coast, Puerto Rico, Conservation, Data and Tools

San Diego County Benefits from Adaptation Strategy

Fourteen adaptation planning initiatives are taking place in nine cities with the help of a NOAA grant and a local research reserve.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Grants, Natural Infrastructure, Partnership, California

Reserves Advance “Blue Carbon” Approach to Conserving Wetlands

Through guidance, tools, and workshops, the research reserves aim to make wetland conservation profitable by leveraging the carbon stored in this ecosystem.

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Top Stories, Conservation, Partnerships, Research, Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Texas, Washington

Tool Reduces Ocean Conflicts

Offering a cohesive approach to offshore management, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan aids industries connected to offshore energy, tourism, undersea cables, and marine traffic.

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

Tide Station Data Can Be Lifesaving

Near-real-time data, plus research reserve expertise, helped a Maine fire chief decide to evacuate residents during a fierce nor’easter.

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

Three Reserves Beat Back Green Crab Threat

Early detection and action (more than 192 traps at 83-plus sites) stops this predator from wrecking the shellfish industry.

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

First-Ever National Marsh Assessment Tool

Research reserves determine methodology for calculating sea level rise impact on the marsh and test it in 16 locations. Methodology standardizes the effort and creates a national approach.

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Top Stories, Data and Tools, Research, California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Nationwide

Storm Preparations Pay Off

Emergency permitting program helped state return to normal, faster, after Hurricane Mathew.

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

First-Ever Coral Recovery Plan Gets Buy-In

Hawai‘i and the NOAA Coral Program’s cooperative agreement made this possible. Network of no-take zones and fishery management areas represent top two recommendations.

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Conservation, Hawaii

Citizen Scientists Catch Eels—and Valuable Data

Over 700 people participate in this catch, count, and release effort. Data collected helps further our understanding of habitat losses or gains, shifts in the food web, and other ecosystem changes.

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

NOAA-Funded Helicopter Tool Tracks Shifting Sands

New technology approach, funded through a coastal management grant, provides information helpful for addressing an annual $3 million problem associated with sand movement and resulting dredging needs.

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

Habitat and Ecotourism Flourish at Lake Erie Bluffs

Coastal Zone Management leadership and NOAA grants helped purchase a 600-acre site that is good for wildlife, good for the public, and good for the environment.

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

Gardens Combat Coral-Harming Pollution

Coral Reef program co-leads volunteer effort to plant native vegetation that absorbs runoff.

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

Assessment Reveals Estuary’s Economic and Social Value

Research reserve study says area households would be willing to pay millions for restoring estuary health, reaping rewards for fisheries and quality of life.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Economics, Grants, Research, New Hampshire

Partnership Increases Impact, Saves Money

The Rookery Bay Research Reserve and Florida International University make resources go farther by sharing staff, facilities, and other assets.

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

NOAA Assesses Tidal Marsh Resilience

In a first, NOAA scientists standardized a multi-measurement assessment of tidal marsh resilience to sea level rise.

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

NOAA Funding Benefits Massive Flood-Control Initiative

A NOAA grant was used to assess natural infrastructure performance after Hurricane Sandy. Also developed: a web-based tool used to analyze natural infrastructure investments and identify parcels likely to provide the most benefits.

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

City Planning Includes Updated Resilience Strategies

A $425,000 NOAA award provided the resources needed to identify vulnerabilities and develop evacuation plans, revise stormwater management plans, and implement living shorelines. Also created—a vulnerability index map for all 239 coastal municipalities.

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

Superstorm Sandy NOAA Disaster Relief Appropriations

The $2.4 million award emphasized partnerships and region-based, multifaceted solutions. The projects, many focused on natural infrastructure, frequently led to changes to local and state ordinances.

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

Imitating Nature to Decrease Future Flooding

A $450,000 NOAA grant was used to ID alternative erosion-control approaches and where sea level rise is mostly likely to impact salt marsh.

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

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

Offshore Renewable Energy Planning

The Oregon Coastal Management Program will help ensure that ocean uses and natural resources are considered in wave energy plans.

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

Project Rescues Wetlands from Sea Level Rise

The restoration also expands otter habitat and safeguards a super-efficient “blue carbon” source, with help from the Elkhorn Slough Research Reserve.

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, California, Economics, Coastal Zone Management, Grants

A Future for Native Oysters along the Pacific Coast

Data and tools from three West Coast research reserves allow officials to choose restoration “sweet spots” for bringing back declining oyster grounds.

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Grants, Research, California

Adaptation Planning Paid Off for This Community

NOAA tools were used to adjust building codes and land use policies, implement nature-based solutions, and incorporate climate change. Actions paid off when Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy hit.

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

Getting City Kids to the Shore

More than 10,000 kids see the beach for the first time and learn about coastal stewardship through this Coastal Management Program-funded effort.

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