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




Thomas W Doyle, Final Memo for A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models for Ecosystem Management under Future Conditions: .


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 [...]


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Coastal wetlands of the Southeastern United States are undergoing retreat and migration from increasing tidal inundation and saltwater intrusion attributed to climate variability and sea-level rise. Much of the literature describing potential sea-level rise projections and modeling predictions are found in peer-reviewed academic journals or government technical reports largely suited to reading by other Ph.D. scientists who are more familiar or engaged in the climate change debate. Various sea-level rise and coastal wetland models have been developed and applied of different designs and scales of spatial and temporal complexity for predicting habitat and environmental change that have not heretofore been synthesized to aid natural resource managers of their utility and limitations. Training sessions were conducted with Federal land managers with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves as well as state partners and nongovernmental organizations across the northern Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas to educate and to evaluate user needs and understanding of concepts, data, and modeling tools for projecting sea-level rise and its impact on coastal habitats and wildlife. As a result, this handbook was constructed from these training and feedback sessions with coastal managers and biologists of published decision-support tools and simulation models for sea-level rise and climate change assessments. A simplified tabular context was developed listing the various kinds of decision-support tools and ecological models along with criteria to distinguish the source, scale, and quality of information input and geographic data sets, physical and biological constraints and relationships, datum characteristics of water and land elevation components, utility options for setting sea-level rise and climate change scenarios, and ease or difficulty of storing, displaying, or interpreting model output. The handbook is designed to be a primer to understanding sea-level rise and a practical synthesis of the current state of knowledge and modeling tools as a resource guide for DOl land management needs and facilitating Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) research and conservation initiatives.


  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • Southeast CASC

Associated Items


Water, Coasts and Ice
Science Tools For Managers
Science Themes


Data source
Input directly

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citationTypeFinal Memo

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