Studying Climate Impact on Bays, Estuaries

The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to lead a coalition of scientists from around the country to study the impact of storms, sea-level rise, and climate change on estuaries and bays.

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This national Research Coordination Network (RCN), part of NSF’s new initiative on People and Coasts (CoPe), will synthesize insights from existing coastal resiliency projects around the country and propose bold new strategies that integrate ecosystem enhancement and recovery to protect coastal communities and infrastructure.

“The increasing severity of storms and flooding due to changing land use and climate change are testing the resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems. Much needs to be done to prepare communities and the environment to adapt,” said Peter Goodwin, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

“This visionary NSF program reaches across the national scientific and engineering community to identify critical gaps in our current understanding and to pursue innovative technologies and strategies. UMCES is excited to bring together some of the top experts from around the country to tackle the critical environmental challenge of building coastal resilience.”

Led by UMCES oceanographer Ming Li, the coalition-based initiative called Estuarine CoPe RCN will study the impact of storms, sea-level rise, and climate change on estuaries and bays.

Scientists will focus their attention on coastline management strategies such as engineered structures and natural/nature-based systems. They will also explore the human dimensions of coastal resilience.

Funding will provide interdisciplinary training to young scientists through workshops and focus-group interactions.