Climate Impacts on Coastal and Nearshore Environments

Science Theme 4: Climate Impacts on Atlantic and Great Lakes Coastal and Nearshore Environments

A key question for this science theme is the extent to which management actions, particularly in urban and suburban areas, can buffer climate impacts to the coasts. Answering this question requires increasing the accuracy of sea level rise projections, runoff, and lake level fluctuations, and linking them to critical elements of Atlantic and Great Lakes coastal ecosystems such as the structure and function of estuarine wetlands.


Resource managers need to understand the extent to which coastal zones can continue to provide habitat for valuable fisheries and at-risk wildlife under a changing climate and how management actions, including conservation design and restoration, can promote sustainability of natural systems while decreasing risks and increasing quality of life for human communities. 


Vulnerablitiy and Risks

  • Coastal flooding
  • Shoreline instability and erosion
  • Habitat loss including low-lying beaches, rocky shores, marshes, nearshore and barrier islands

Explore our Expertise 

Linda Deegan Marine Biological Laboratory


 Coastal Processes, Estuaries,                                                                                                                                                  Foodweb Interactions

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Michelle Staudinger Science Coordinator, DOI Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center


Phenology, Adaptation and Conservation Strategies,                                                                                                                   Aquatic and Marine Species Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity

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 Richard Palmer University Director, Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center


  Water Resources, Streamflow,                                                                                                                                                     Water Supply Systems, Decision Analysis

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