Coastal ecosystems serve unique ecological functions and provide critical defense for coastal human communities.

Estuaries, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, rocky and sandy shorelines, and coastal forests are experiencing many direct and indirect effects of climate change. Water level changes, increased storm events, shoreline erosion, ocean acidification, and warmer waters are all affecting these important ecosystems. Taking action now can will help coastal systems adapt to a changing climate, while also providing important benefits for coastal human communities.

Learn more about coastal ecosystem vulnerability

Adaptation in Action

Coastal systems will require special management consideration in a changing climate given their unique ecological functions and their role as a critical defense for coastal human communities. We are currently developing and testing a menu of Adaptation Strategies and Approaches to help natural resource managers take action on climate change in coastal systems. This new resource is designed to be used with the Adaptation Workbook to make coastal management plans more robust to changing conditions.

Contact Kristen Schmitt to learn more about our work in coastal ecosystems 

Looking for Collaborators

NIACS is coordinating the development of the menu of Adaptation Strategies and Approaches for coastal ecosystems with input from stewardship coordinators with the National Estuarine Research Reserves and others. You can lend your expertise to this project by: 

  • Reviewing written products
  • Testing tools on real-world projects
  • Hosting an adaptation workshop

Work with Us

We offer assistance on adaptation projects for groups that are managing coastal forests, and plan to expand this assistance to other types of coastal ecosystems as adaptation materials are completed. Examples of our work include:

  • Leading climate change adaptation workshops.
  • Creating tools to assist with adapting coastal ecosystems to climate change.
  • Developing examples of real-world climate-informed management in coastal forests.