Study in Progress

Long-term Coastal Zone Dynamics: Interactions and Feedbacks between Natural and Human Processes and their Implications for the U.S. Coastline


Meeting 1: Long-term Coastal Zone Dynamics - 05/17/17
Meeting 2: Long-term Coastal Zone Dynamics - 07/18/17
Meeting 3: Long-term Coastal Zone Dynamics - 09/18/17

Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will conduct a study to determine research needed to improve the understanding of long-term (years, decades, centuries) coastal dynamics and the long-term impacts of coastal engineering and development along three types of U.S. coastlines -- the barrier island coastlines of the mid-Atlantic, the deltaic coastline of Louisiana and Mississippi, and the tectonically active coastline of the Pacific. The study will also consider how to make such information more useful to coastal communities.

Recognizing the mission and goals of the Gulf Research Program as context, the study will:
1. Identify gaps in scientific and technical understanding of:

a. the long-term magnitude and interactions of natural and human physical processes along these three types of coastlines;
b. the similarities and differences in these processes from coastline to coastline.

2. Define the essential components of a research and development program (e.g., monitoring, data collection and management, modeling, human or biological population surveys, multi-dimensional mapping) in response to the gaps identified in (1); and develop and set priorities for no more than three critical areas of research to increase understanding of long-term coastal dynamics (e.g., sea-level rise; coastal subsidence, uplift, and erosion; coastal ecosystem evolution; economic development; coastal hazards) in order to advance the science and help inform community choices and decision making in each of the three coastal areas.

3. Identify barriers to, and opportunities for, more effective communication among scientists and coastal communities about improved monitoring, forecasting, mapping, and other data collection and research regarding long-term changes in U.S. coastlines.