Active Research Projects

Dynamic Sea Level Rise Assessments of the Ability of Natural and Nature-based Features to Mitigate Surge and Nuisance Flooding

Project Sponsor: NOAA National Center for Coastal Ocean Science Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise (EESLR) Program

PI: Scott C. Hagen, LSU CCE/CCT, Director LSU CCR

Co-PI: Denise DeLorme, LSU Department of Environmental Sciences

Collaborating Partners: Dauphin Island Sea Lab, University of Central Florida, University of South Carolina, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Award Length: 4 years, Sept. 1, 2016 - August 31, 2020

Project Summary: Extensive transdisciplinary efforts since 2010 in the northern Gulf of Mexico (MS, AL, and the FL panhandle) have resulted in a capability to model the coastal dynamics of sea level rise and assess hydrodynamic and ecological impacts at the coastal land margin. The establishment of this paradigm shift (i.e., beyond “bathtub” approaches) was made possible, in no small part, by directly involving coastal resource managers at the initial stages and throughout the project process. Potential deleterious effects of sea level rise (SLR) to barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, marshes, etc., are now better understood. The paradigm shift, input from coastal resource managers and future conditions provide a rationale to evaluate and quantify the ability of Natural and Nature-based Feature (NNBF) approaches to mitigate the present and future effects of surge and nuisance flooding.

 The objectives for this transdisciplinary project are to: (1) refine, enhance, and extend the coupled dynamic, bio-geo-physical models of coastal morphology, tide, marsh, and surge; (2) advance the paradigm shift for SLR assessments by linking economic impact analysis and ecosystem services valuation directly to these coastal dynamics of SLR; (3) establish and engage a Management Transition Advisory Group (MTAG) throughout the entire project process; and (4) deliver our results via a flexible, multi-platform mechanism that allows for region-wide or place-based assessment of NNBFs.