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A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models

A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models for Ecosystem Management under Future Conditions


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Coastal wetlands and the many beneficial services they provide (e.g., purifying water, buffering storm surge, providing habitat) are changing and disappearing as a result of sea-level rise brought about by climate change. Scientists have developed a wealth of information and resources to predict and aid decision-making related to sea-level rise. However, while some of these resources are easily accessible by coastal managers, many others require more expert knowledge to understand or utilize. The goal of this project was to collate science and models pertaining to the effects of sea-level on coastal wetlands into a format that would be accessible and useful to resource managers. Researchers conducted training sessions with coastal [...]

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Principal Investigator :
Thomas W Doyle
Cooperator/Partner :
Laurie Rounds, Martha Segura
Funding Agency :
Southeast CSC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program

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“The Gulf of Mexico - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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A handbook for resource managers was produced to describe the science and simulation models for understanding the dynamics and impacts of sea-level rise on our coastal ecosystems. The focus of this guide was to categorize and describe the suite of data, methods, and models, their design, structure, and application, for hindcasting and forecasting the potential impacts of sea-level rise in coastal environments. Basic illustrations of the components of the Earth’s hydrosphere and effects of plate tectonics, planetary orbits, and glaciation are explained to understand the long-term cycles of historical sea-level rise and fall. Discussion of proper interpretation of contemporary sea level rates and trends from tide gauge stations and satellite altimetry missions are presented to show their complementary aspects and value for understanding variability in sea-level rise and land motion for different coastal reaches of the U.S. Examples of the different types and classes of hydrology and ecosystem models used to predict potential effects of future sea-level rise at local and regional scale applications are presented. Coastal land managers, engineers, and scientists will benefit from this synthesis of tools and models that have been developed for projecting causes and consequences of sea-level change on the landscape and seascape.

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