Sea Level Rise Impacts and Adaptation

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Sea level rise is a key concern when developing land use plans and policies, and addressing climate change for infrastructure, transportation, wetland restoration, flood risk management, and public access projects.

ESA scientists have incorporated sea level rise considerations into our restoration designs since we began studying the potential impacts of sea level rise 25 years ago, publishing our first study in 1987. We are leading efforts throughout the West Coast to understand the increasing vulnerability of our shores, infrastructure, and communities and working to develop adaptation strategies and sound land use planning and policy. We develop innovative solutions and plans to assess risk and address sea level rise— from sea level rise vulnerability assessments, flood risk management studies, and shoreline erosion assessments, to coastal hazard mapping, habitat evolution analysis, and ecosystem-based adaptation planning. ESA provides a range of technical assistance to local, regional, and state agencies to assess the possible impacts, devise adaptation strategies, and maximize benefits to manage the effects of sea level rise on both natural and developed resources.

Specialized Services

  • Coastal erosion assessments
  • Coastal flood forecasting
  • Community and ecosystem adaptation plans
  • Geomorphic assessments
  • Geomorphic mapping
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling
  • Managed shoreline retreat
  • Multi-objective flood management
  • Sea level rise adaptation studies and vulnerability assessments
  • Shoreline management plans