Study Provides Baseline Data and Triages Adaptation Needs

The Kachemak Bay coast is in a challenging situation. Local ice fields are melting rapidly, while at the same time the coast continues to experience “uplift” from a powerful earthquake that rocked the area in 1964. Estimates for sea level rise are lacking, and many local communities are established on land that is vulnerable to erosion and inundation.

To give the region solid, science-based information to work from, the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve led a team to assess and monitor coastal uplift, glacial melt, and sea level rise. The project developed high-precision models and established salt marsh monitoring sites. Municipal officials are using this information to pinpoint vulnerability, investigate potential impacts to infrastructure, and identify adaptation approaches and additional research needs. (2016)

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Partners: City of Homer, Kachemak Bay Reserve, Kenai Peninsula Borough, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Seldovia Village Tribe, University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute