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Addressing Coastal Issues

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

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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

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

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, 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: 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

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

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

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, Pennsylvania, Virginia

Federal Contracting Vehicle Benefits State and Local Efforts

Local, state, and federal agencies are getting faster and easier access to the nation’s top geospatial firms through a streamlined process developed by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. The contract also can process task orders rapidly...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Top Stories, Data and Tools, Economics, Nationwide

Tide Station Data Can Be Lifesaving

A nor’easter’s sudden wind changes can push storm surge and floods into unexpected areas, defying regional predictions and catching emergency response crews off-guard. In January 2018 at Wells, Maine, the fire chief avoided that frightening...

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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

Coast Smart Program Cuts Hazard Risks for Communities

Many Chesapeake Bay communities are barely seven feet above sea level, and a heavy rainstorm is enough to inundate the roads. Residents have seen severe weather events become more frequent, but have lacked the resources to make their communities...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Maryland

Towns Will Cut Flooding While Boosting Public Access and Compliance

Guidance will help thirty-seven of Virginia’s coastal communities address important local needs and regulatory requirements while identifying the best potential sites for wetland restoration, living shorelines, and other nature-based infrastructure...

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Related to: Other, Economics, Grants, Natural Infrastructure, Virginia

Chesapeake Bay Initiative Educates Hundreds of Virginia Students

Over three years, a project to expand Chesapeake Bay watershed education has reached 800 Virginia ninth graders in four counties and boosted teacher literacy in climate science through field trips, trainings, and use of real-time data....

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Related to: Digital Coast, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Virginia

Environmental Monitoring Benefits Ecosystem, Economy, and Citizens

The National Estuarine Research Reserves document environmental change by monitoring water quality, water temperature, weather, biodiversity, land use, and habitat. People use these data to understand current conditions, spot trends, and...

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

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

Multimillion-Dollar Shellfish Economy Depends on Research Reserve Data

U.S. estuaries are the lifeblood of commercial shellfishing. Total fish catch in estuaries contributes $4.3 billion annually to the national economy, and estuaries are nurseries to more than 75 percent of all the fish and shellfish harvested...

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

Reserve Findings Fortify Coastal Communities

Coastal wetlands represent the strongest natural defense against rising flood, storm, and sea level rise impacts, preventing more than $625 million in property damages during Hurricane Sandy and reducing property damages throughout the Northeast...

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

Reserve Data Help Safeguard Community and Watershed Health

Of the 32 largest cities in the world, 22 are located on estuaries. In the U.S., the National Estuarine Research Reserves System’s environmental monitoring program sounds the alert when water-quality conditions pose potential dangers to people...

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

Sewer Pond Turned into a Thriving Wildlife “Jewel”

What do you do with an abandoned sewer pond that has become an eyesore? The Texas City of San Benito turned it into a thriving wetland that improves water quality in streams flowing to a nearby river and attracts hoards of migratory...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Natural Infrastructure, Texas

Tracking Harvey Wind and Water Data

The five monitoring stations at the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve captured wind and water level data as Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast. The information is being used to document Harvey conditions...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Top Stories, Data and Tools, Texas

Erosion Response Planning Proven Effective after Harvey

A Texas state law proved its effectiveness post-Hurricane Harvey, when the dune structures along Padre Island helped keep damage to Port Aransas from being more severe. Local residents have reported that homes and businesses located close...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Top Stories, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education, Texas

Storm-Recovery Actions Bring Quick Results

Pre-planning and technology enabled South Carolina’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management to hit the ground running after Hurricane Matthew slammed the state’s coast, causing nearly $341 million in damages. Within two weeks...

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

Post-Sandy Preparedness Is Increasing Safety and Saving Money

In the wake of damages from Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, coastal New Jersey communities are acutely aware of community vulnerability and looking for ways to increase hazard preparedness and reduce costs. Dozens of municipalities are...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Top Stories, Conservation, Data and Tools, Nationwide, New Jersey

Digital Coast Helps Shore Up Public Safety Amid Flood Risks

Officials in the South Carolina town of Bluffton know worsening floods can cause infrastructure damage and septic contamination. To get a more informed analysis, data and tools from the Digital Coast were used, including the modeling...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, South Carolina

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

Training Exercise Yields 450 Miles of Vulnerability Information

Oregon’s coastal managers not only must prepare for sea level rise but also for the potentially catastrophic scenario of an earthquake and resulting tsunami. New mapped information identifies more than 90 community assets along shorelines...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Top Stories, Data and Tools, Education and Training, Oregon

Groundbreaking Study Uses Reserves to Evaluate Restoration Success

A lack of “pre-degradation” data makes it hard for scientists to properly evaluate wetland restoration projects. To address this issue, research reserves and NOAA created new wetland performance measures that are reliable, economical, and...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Research, Maine, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Nationwide

NOAA Training Graduates Are Safeguarding Coastal Communities

A survey of Digital Coast Academy graduates shows an overwhelmingly positive response to its instructor-led and online courses, as 96 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “I gained knowledge and skills that I will apply...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Digital Coast, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Top Stories, Training and Education, Nationwide

Adaptation Training Brings On-the-Ground Results

A recent survey showed that the “Adaptation Planning for Coastal Communities” course was one of most popular trainings offered by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, and several course graduates explain why:

  • Information gathered...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Training and Education, Nationwide

Green Infrastructure Trainees Put Principles into Practice

Several graduates of the NOAA Office for Coastal Management training, “Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience,” say their newfound skills are improving resilience in their own backyards:

  • An Oregon official is...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education, Nationwide

Trainees Learn to Guide Collaborative Meetings to Finish Line

A recent survey showed that “Planning and Facilitating Collaborative Meetings” was the most-popular training offered by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, and the following stories from graduates show why:

  • Two workgroups improved...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Training and Education, Nationwide

Course Connects Dots between Planning and Measurable Results

Participants in the “Planning Effective Projects for Coastal Communities” course from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management credit their training with on-the-ground successes:

  • An Ohio agency staffer used his new skills to create...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Training and Education, Nationwide

Lake Erie’s Real-Time Weather Data Keeps Millions Safer

Presque Isle State Park, along the Lake Erie shore, offers 3,200 acres of outdoor recreation for four million visitors yearly, but fast-moving storms and currents sometimes pose life-threatening danger to sport fishers, swimmers, and boaters...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Top Stories, Data and Tools, Grants, Pennsylvania

Aquarium Tool Uses Sea Level Rise Viewer

South Carolina Aquarium visitors can get an instant picture that shows whether, or how, coastal flooding is likely to impact their homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods, courtesy of a tool that uses data and maps from NOAA’s Sea Level...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Training and Education, South Carolina

Master Plan Covers 367-Mile Texas Coast

About 6.5 million people with total wages topping $37 billion reside along the Texas coast, as do bustling ports, military installations, 25 percent of the nation's refining capacity, and most of the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Top Stories, Economics, Natural Infrastructure, Texas

Students in Three States Learn Hands-On Marsh Restoration

South Carolina’s only salt marsh restoration program designed for students has been so well-received—involving 32,000 young people and the planting of 25,000-plus Spartina seedlings—that Georgia and North Carolina have signed on,...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

Dredging and Seeds Help Restore Marsh Ecology

As sea levels rise, Ninigret Pond’s salt marshes are drowning, converting to mud flats or open water. The sand swept in by shoreline currents is covering eelgrass beds, leaving communities without a natural buffer against storms and...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure, Rhode Island

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

Teacher Workshop Makes Estuary Science Come Alive

Dozens of fourth-through-sixth-grade educators experienced the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem firsthand during the “Estuary Science for Elementary and Middle School Teachers” workshop. They collected water temperature data, pulled a “seine...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Virginia

NOAA Funds Ensure Treasured Campground Stays Intact

Intense storms along Lake Superior’s rugged coast were slowly washing away F.J. McLain State Park, threatening campsites, park facilities, and a road. Park officials worked with NOAA and the state coastal management program to study...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Michigan

Restoration Dollars to Bring Six Times Return on Investment

Industrial pollution degraded Michigan’s Muskegon Lake, but a wetland restoration and shoreline stabilization project is breathing new life into the region. Sixty five-plus wetland acres were connected to 45 acres of open-water habitat...

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Related to: Other, Top Stories, Economics, Natural Infrastructure, Michigan

Deep Coral Reefs Hold Promise for Shallower Degraded Reefs

A study of coral reefs found hundreds of feet underwater—known as mesophotic coral ecosystems—in the Hawaiian Archipelago revealed the most extensive deep reefs ever recorded. Researchers also found these deep reefs have more than twice as many...

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Conservation, Research, Hawaii

Collaboration Aids Fishermen and Offshore Wind Management

With the advent of offshore wind energy interests, Virginia’s fishing communities needed help identifying and safeguarding fishing areas vital to their livelihoods. State and federal representatives partnered with these communities to develop fine...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Economics, Data and Tools, Virginia

Livestreams Alert Beachgoers to Dangerous Currents

Real-time rip-current information is helping swimmers stay safe in the Minnesota city of Duluth and the Wisconsin communities of Port Washington and Milwaukee. “Rip-risk” current conditions and forecasts include air pressure, water, wave, and temperature...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Minnesota, Wisconsin

Living Shorelines Move from Plans to Reality

A new accomplishments report proves that the state’s living shorelines strategy is bearing fruit.

In 2015, 203 of the state’s real estate professionals and 162 landscape architects, engineers, and marine contractors attended living shoreline workshops...

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

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

Marine Debris Campaign Lauded as Nationwide Model

Approximately 80 percent of marine debris comes from land-based sources. With that statistic in mind, the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program established the first East Coast plan focused on reducing marine debris statewide. Virginia is also first...

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

World’s Most Successful Eelgrass Restoration Project

The largest and most successful eelgrass restoration project on the planet is now growing on the very spot where, for five decades, eelgrass had been rooted up and destroyed by disease and successive hurricanes. Located on the Atlantic...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Top Stories, Conservation, Natural Infrastructure, Virginia

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

NOAA Research Reserve Is a First for Pacific Islands

The new He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve is located within the largest sheltered body of water in the Hawaiian Island chain, with 1,385 acres that host coastal research, shelter coral reefs, filter water, lessen flooding, and safeguard...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Top Stories, Conservation, Hawaii

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

Beachsite’s Natural Infrastructure Helps Protect Corals from Runoff

At Playa Tamarindo on Culebra Island, runoff from sediment and cars driving on the beach imperils coral reefs and a local waterway.

Partners addressed the problem by planting vegetation in bare soil, installing a gravel parking lot to absorb...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Coral Reef Conservation Program, Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Natural Infrastructure, Puerto Rico

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

Standardized Environmental Assessments

NOAA scientists developed a standardized approach, the first of its kind, for assessing how changing environmental conditions impact tidal marshlands. This methodology allows communities to compare and contrast results from different...

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

Study on Coral-Harming Chemical Spurs Corrective Action

A study from NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and a team of international scientists showed that oxybenzone, a common chemical found in over 3500 sunscreen products, greatly increases the vulnerability of juvenile corals to bleaching...

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Conservation, Research

Reserves Grow Business Partnerships

NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserves contribute to coastal economic stability. For instance, a Florida reserve offers information and assistance to local ecotourism boat operators; a Puerto Rico reserve provides an ecotourism certification...

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

First Stop for New Projects: Digital Coast

The Digital Coast offers many baseline data sets and tools used on a regular basis by Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Management Program for their planning, zoning, and management projects. Examples include the water-depth data available for the...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Minnesota

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

Annual Erie Coast Event Cleans Away 61,000-Plus Items

Litter trashes the coastal landscape and affects everyone. An initiative co-led by the state’s coastal management program, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, is doing something about it. This effort started in 2003 for Erie County...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Partnership, Pennsylvania

Imitating Nature to Decrease Future Flooding

New Jersey coastal communities used a NOAA grant of over $450,000 after Superstorm Sandy to identify nature-based ways of increasing community resilience. Communities were introduced to hard erosion-control structure alternatives. Community-specific...

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

Digital Coast Informs National Hurricane Center Work

Hazard-preparedness tip sheets provided by NOAA’s Digital Coast for the National Hurricane Center are being used by emergency managers nationwide, and Digital Coast elevation data sets were used to improve the hurricane center’s Potential Storm Surge...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Partnerships, Nationwide

Study Shows Public Willingness to Invest in Restoration

Community leaders need information about the values people place on ecosystem services and coastal management approaches. In a project awarded more than $290,000 in NOAA funding, two coastal restoration projects were analyzed to show coastal communities...

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Related to: Other, Economics, Grants, Natural Infrastructure, New York, 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: Costal Zone Management, Top Stories, Grants, Natural Infrastructure, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey

Digital Coast Saves U.S. Taypayer $50,000

The Department of Energy found it made economic sense to use Digital Coast data for a study on sea level rise impacts to energy infrastructure.

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Economics, California, Florida, New York, Texas

Digital Coast Fills Gaps in Engineer's Hazard Studies

Digital Coast resources were used to develop a hazard mitigation plan for Union County, a property tax risk assessment for the Borough of Tuckerton, and studies on pier safety and post-Sandy planning for the City of Hoboken. (2017)

More Information...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, New Jersey

City Planning Includes Updated Resilience Strategies

Community assets are vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal flooding. This project identified vulnerabilities and prioritized new strategies for improving resilience, including developing evacuation plans, revising stormwater management plans, and...

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

Wild Rice Flourishes along Jug Bay

Working over the past 12 years, the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve – Maryland and Patuxent River Park have succeeded in restoring many of Jug Bay’s stands of wild rice, which are key plants in the wetlands and a major...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Maryland

Small-Scale Retrofits Improve Water Quality

At 12 sites on Pivers Island, the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve and the state’s coastal management program joined other state and federal partners in an effort to upgrade water quality and lessen flooding. This was...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure, North Carolina

The Future of Chesapeake Oystering and Crabbing Just Got Better

Centuries-old oystering and crabbing activities along the Chesapeake Bay’s Deal Island Peninsula are now vulnerable to flooding, storms, and sea level rise. A partnership involving the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve...

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

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

Designing the Post-Invasive Species Forest

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve is working with the City of Superior to study the impacts on local forests of an invasive beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer. This beetle has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Training and Education, Wisconsin

Community Boosts Future Flood Resilience during Post-Sandy Recovery

Post-Superstorm Sandy proved to be an ideal time for the Brigantine Island community to implement comprehensive flood-resilience plans. Actions included elevating the only road on and off the island; improving zoning and floodplain...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Training and Education, New Jersey

St. Louis River Watershed’s Economic Benefits Defined

Many residents in the Western Lake Superior region would describe the St. Louis River and watershed as “priceless.” But putting a specific dollar value on these ecosystem services, while difficult, is helpful, particularly when considering...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Economics, Minnesota

Turning to Nature to Address Coastal Erosion

Superstorm Sandy dramatically impacted the coast of New Jersey. Not only did physical aspects of the shoreline change, but so did coastal communities. People started rethinking how coastal resources are managed. Using a grant from NOAA...

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

Post-Disaster Permitting Is Streamlined and Improved

Building off years of experience with coastal hazards, the Hawaii Coastal Zone Management Program and Maui County developed new guidelines and protocol to protect sensitive coastal ecosystems and streamline repair and redevelopment permits...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Partnership, Training and Education, Hawaii

Offshore Renewable Energy Planning

To encourage offshore renewable energy projects in areas that pose the least conflict with existing ocean uses and natural resources, Oregon developed a marine spatial plan. This new chapter of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan identifies...

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

Coastal Hazards Resilience Network

Despite Washington’s rich history of progressive policies that promote balanced shoreline management, the state’s diverse programs were not optimized to help local planners develop long-term strategies for coastal hazards. Through a NOAA...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Data and Tools, Washington

Land Use Guide for Tsunami Preparedness

The Cascadia Subduction Zone, located 50 miles off the Oregon coast, can produce earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 and higher. A major earthquake along this fault line, a one in three chance within the next 50 years, could result in a tsunami...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Oregon

Barrier Island Restoration

Barrier islands in Texas are the first line of defense against coastal storms, and the sheltered bays and estuaries located behind them harbor a seafood industry that generates $846 million in sales and supports over 14,000 jobs. However...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Partnership, Texas

High-Wind Building Codes Part of Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

The Hawaii Coastal Management Program is helping coastal communities prepare for severe winds and storm surges by developing local hazard mitigation plans. Approval of these plans by the Federal Emergency Management Agency makes the community...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Partnership, Training and Education, Hawaii

Marine Debris Removal Grant Used to Exorcise Ghosts of Crabbers Past

Ghost pots—crab traps that have been lost from storms or cut lines—damage sensitive habitats, create navigational hazards, and continue to trap and kill various marine species, including harvestable crabs (a phenomenon called ghost...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Data and Tools, New Jersey

Lake Superior Reserve Works toward Regional Stewardship Goals

Since its designation in 2010, the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, through the efforts of staff members and academic researchers, has supported the mission of long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education...

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

Environmental Education Supports Tribal Harvests

Over the last decade, the unprecedented loss of wild rice to climate change factors has disrupted traditional tribal harvests of the Lake Superior Ojibwe. The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and University of Wisconsin-Extension...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Partnership, Training and Education, Wisconsin

Stormwater Study Focuses on Grand Strand Beaches

Along South Carolina’s Grand Strand, there are unique estuarine “swashes” (altered tidal creeks) that run parallel to the beach and transport and filter stormwater and groundwater before dropping this wastewater into the ocean.

The...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, South Carolina

Climate Trainings Started Here Impact other Coastal States

Climate change is perhaps the leading environmental issue of our time, but local officials often need help understanding potential impacts on the local level and which adaptation strategies make the most sense for their situation.

...

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

Protecting Wetland Forests from Invasive Species

The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect that has killed millions of ash trees in the Great Lakes region over the past decade. Natural resource managers in Wisconsin are particularly concerned about the resulting domino effect on riverine...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Conservation, Partnership, Wisconsin

Invasive Cordgrass Eradicated in Padilla Bay

Spartina, often known as cordgrass, provides critical coastal habitat along the Gulf and East Coasts. On the West Coast, it’s a different story. Here this nonnative aquatic grass is an invasive species. Spartina overcrowds mudflat habitat...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Research, Washington

School Busses and Wetlands Benefit from Restoration Project

A critical entry road for the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and its partner Fennessey Ranch eroded to the point of eliminating school bus entry and blocking critical water flow to the wetlands. The reserve worked with...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Texas

Marsh Mapping Techniques Piloted in Rhode Island

Monitoring data from the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve and the Rhode Island Salt Marsh Assessment show that rapid degradation of salt marshes in the area is likely caused by sea level rise. Resource managers and policy makers needed...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Rhode Island

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

Thirty Years of Fishery Data Now Available

Analysis of 30 years’ worth of larval fish samples from three research reserves is now available through www.SEAMAP.org. Fisheries management decisions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region are benefiting from this information. Access...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, Research, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina

New Ecotourism Certification Program

Jobos Bay is the source of much of the economy for Salinas and Guayama, Puerto Rico, and other surrounding communities. To further ecotourism businesses, the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve worked with the Initiative for...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Economics, Training and Education, Puerto Rico

New Policies Please Hunters and the Reserves

An agreement with hunting association leaders was reached that promotes managed hunting in a popular research reserve and protects reserve resources. Approximately 176 acres of salt flats, mangrove channels, and salty lagoons in the Jobos...

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

Flooding Resilience Plan Developed for Hudson River Communities

Flooding from peak tides and tropical storms cost the city of Kingston, New York, millions of dollars. This led to the creation of the Kingston Tidal Waterfront Flooding Task Force and a partnership with the Hudson River National Estuarine...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Data and Tools, New York

Using Lidar to Plan for Sea Level Rise

Since the late 1800s, farmers in Oregon have been diking estuarine wetlands for their own agricultural benefit. With sea level rise imminent, knowing the location and condition of the dikes, as well as who is responsible for maintenance...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Oregon

First Tribal National Park in United States

An essential part of the coastal management effort is protecting and preserving important natural resources for future generations. The acquisition of 89 acres of old-growth forest and a quarter-mile of shoreline along Lake Superior led...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Wisconsin

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

Project Slows Down Amount of Stormwater Runoff

Increased stormwater runoff from urbanization is causing nuisance and dangerous street flooding along the North Carolina coast. It’s also the number-one threat to water quality, leading to beach-swimming advisories and shellfish-harvesting...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Natural Infrastructure, North Carolina

The First Research Reserve – South Slough

On June 27, 1974, the South Slough Sanctuary in Oregon was dedicated as the first site in what is now known as the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. South Slough is one of 28 research reserves around the country dedicated to research...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Oregon

Determining Tsunami Exposure

Although a potential tsunami-inundation zone had been delineated in Oregon, officials needed information about what was located in this area to determine what additional preparedness and response measures were needed.

The U.S. Geological...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Oregon

Pinpointing Rip Currents

Rip currents—strong channels of water that flow out from the shore—claim more lives annually than tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, and floods combined. Lake Michigan swimmers will be much safer from the risk of rip currents and other...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Research, Minnesota

Land Cover Data used to Analyze Sedimentation

Clear-cut timber harvests contribute to excess sediment loads in streams, eventually leading to problems for estuaries. However, timber harvest records on private lands are not centralized or available in GIS format, making it difficult...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Conservation, Data and Tools, Oregon

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

Identifying Habitat Loss, Prioritizing Restoration

The nonprofit Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership—supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program, the states of Oregon and Washington, and other entities—is working to preserve and restore the natural...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Conservation, Data and Tools, Oregon, Washington

Major Flood Forecast Gap Repaired for Houston Area

Local and state officials depend on National Weather Service flood forecasts. Previously, text-only forecasts about river heights were provided, but these forecasts didn’t show potential flood areas.

Several federal and state partners...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Texas

Mapping the Urban Realm to Enhance Community Resilience

Tropical urban forests provide recreational benefits and a wide range of environmental services, including protection from storms, sea level rise, and coastal erosion, and protection for coral reefs and nearshore marine ecosystems. The...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Conservation, Data and Tools, Partnership, Hawaii

Prioritizing Restoration and Conservation Efforts

Maryland officials participated in a NOAA training course and used the lessons learned to map the state’s ecological network and identified land with important ecological and biodiversity characteristics such as submerged aquatic vegetation...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Conservation, Natural Infrastructure, Training and Education, Maryland

Building Community Resilience

Chester, the oldest city in Pennsylvania, has experienced population and economic decline. In 1995 the city was declared financially distressed, but recent revitalization efforts have repurposed portions of the abandoned industrial riverfront...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Pennsylvania

Modeling Future Development for Eastern North Carolina

Civilian and military population growth is impacting natural resource near military installations in eastern North Carolina.

The Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability and the U.S. Geological Survey conducted...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, North Carolina

Coordinated Disaster Response Planning in the Gulf of Mexico

With Sandy, Katrina, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it’s clear the nation’s coasts are at risk from major natural and man-made hazards. Coastal resource managers in the Gulf of Mexico are taking steps to ensure improved preparation...

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Related to: National Estuarine Research Reserves, Training and Education, Mississippi

Beach Access and Water Quality App Released

Coastal tourism is a major contributor to South Carolina’s economy, and a key policy goal of South Carolina's coastal zone management program is the preservation, enhancement, and promotion of public access. The new South Carolina Beach...

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

Shade-Grown Coffee Protects Coral Reefs in Puerto Rico

Runoff from agriculture, deforestation, and coastal development threaten coral reef ecosystems. Coffee farmers in southwestern Puerto Rico, an area that receives over 100 inches of rainfall annually, worked with scientists to reduce agricultural...

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Related to: Coral Reef Conservation Program, Conservation, Puerto Rico

Wetlands Restoration Is Fulfilling a Community Vision

Agricultural changes to the Heeia wetlands, once known for abundant taro crops and naturally healthy fishponds, resulted in increased runoff, invasive species, and sedimentation. Concerned community members consulted with local elders and...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Economics, Hawaii

Volunteer Storm Team Elevates Water Quality Issues

An elite group of volunteers quickly mobilizes during heavy rain events along the Samish River in Washington State to collect important water quality data. This information is used by the coastal officials who make decisions about commercial...

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

New Tool to Predict Storm Inundation

The Rhode Island Coastal Management Program, working with the University of Rhode Island and others, developed a simplified model to predict storm inundation.

STORMTOOLS uses NOAA data to provide storm surge predictions for 10-...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Rhode Island

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

First Nature Reserve Trail for the Blind in Puerto Rico

The Punta Tuna Nature Reserve, together with the Puerto Rico Coastal Management Program, developed the first trail that provides improved access people with disabilities. The initiative is serving as a model for other research reserves...

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Related to: Coastal Zone Management, Data and Tools, Training and Education, Puerto Rico

Citizen Scientists Play Key Role in Sea Turtle Nest Patrol and Outreach

Of six sea turtle species that nest on beaches in the continental United States, all are designated as either threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Over 90 percent of their nests are located on the beaches of Florida...

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

Comparing Differences in Tsunami Sensitivity along the Coast

Historical geological evidence shows that the coast of Washington is vulnerable to high-magnitude tsunamis. To understand the potential impacts, state and local leaders sought help developing local risk-reduction strategies.

In cooperation...

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Related to: Digital Coast, Data and Tools, Research, Washington