We’re improving the ability of our coasts to adapt to rising seas, extreme weather, and other threats with innovative collaborations from Alaska to Chile.

Strengthening nature helps sustain healthy wildlife and human communities, safeguarding our diverse and vibrant shorelines for future generations.

Our shorelines work covers issues ranging from understanding how and where wildlife populations are affected by changing conditions to quantifying the benefits and effectiveness of nature-based solutions to coastal flooding and erosion. We work with communities to protect and manage beaches and wetlands using the best available science.


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Maya Hayden, Ph.D.

Email: mhayden@pointblue.org

Coastal Adaption Program Leader

Climate-Smart Coastal Planning

Climate change is increasing sea levels, storm frequency and intensity, erosion, and flooding along our shorelines. To adapt, coastal communities, managers, and planners need locally relevant tools to understand vulnerabilities and plan for action.

Our scientists work together with other experts and decision-makers to co-develop tools and information to better plan for the impacts of sea level rise and storm hazards up and down the West coast. We then work to identify where nature-based solutions can reduce coastal vulnerabilities and provide many additional benefits for people and wildlife.

Visit the links and resources below to learn more about how we are enabling climate-smart planning today for a more resilient tomorrow.

What’s vulnerable?

We developed Our Coast Our Future (OCOF) in partnership with the US Geological Survey and stakeholders to deliver high resolution, interactive maps and resources for coastal planners to visualize and anticipate coastal hazards due to sea-level rise and storms.

Explore OCOF

Who’s Preparing?

Explore case studies of how communities and organizations have used the Our Coast Our Future web viewer and USGS CoSMoS sea level rise/storm modeling projections for coastal adaptation planning.

Story Map

Living Shorelines

We're helping decision makers understand and prioritize natural infrastructure over hard structures. We identify where nature-based solutions are appropriate for addressing coastal vulnerabilities, demonstrating their effectiveness and highlighting the range of benefits they provide to wildlife and people.


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Kriss Neuman

Email: kneuman@pointblue.org

Monterey Bay Coastal Program Lead

Sandy Beach and Dune Ecosystems

California’s beaches provide important ecological functions and services to human communities already threatened by the combined effects of sea level rise and accelerating coastal erosion. The state’s beaches are significant sources of economic and recreational value and provide critical habitat to species such as the Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern. We are working with coastal decision makers to protect and  restore sandy beach and dune ecosystems in the places that will most benefit wildlife populations but also provide recreational and coastal protection benefits for people.

Snowy Plovers

Point Blue has been monitoring and supporting conservation and outreach efforts for Western Snowy Plovers since the mid-1970's and our work continues today. This species has been federally listed as threatened since 1993 and is a California Species of Special Concern. Since their listing, this species' population has been recovering due to conservation efforts, but the sandy beach and dune ecosystem habitat that plovers depend on is highly vulnerable to climate change, especially from sea level rise. Point Blue is working to apply climate-smart principles to conserve and restore this iconic coastal habitat to protect plovers and other species and to benefit human communities into the future.

Beach Pocket Guide

Decades of Doing Good

By documenting specific threats to plovers, and providing this information to key partners and decision makers, we have improved the management of beaches and increased public understanding of the value of the sandy beach and dune ecosystems. In 2004, our comprehensive data showed that the coastal population segment of the Western Snowy Plover is distinct and requires continued protection under the Endangered Species Act. Today, we're using our long-term data to assess and predict plover responses to future climate variability and to inform habitat management that promotes ecosystem resilience into the future.

View Reports Here

Resilient Beaches and Dunes

We're leveraging our long term data collection and our expertise in spatial analyses to map out where conservation and restoration efforts will result in high quality beach and dune habitat that is resilient to sea level rise and coastal erosion. We will work with our partners to apply our recommendations through coastal acquisition, restoration and other management decision making processes.


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Matt Reiter, PhD

Email: mreiter@pointblue.org

Principal Scientist / Quantitative Ecologist

International Climate-Smart Partnership

Coastal wetlands are some of the most at-risk ecosystems to climate change and occur in close proximity with human communities. These systems face many common threats across the Pacific Coast of the Americas and thus common solutions are needed.

These coastal wetlands form an essential habitat network for waterbirds which link the communities along their migratory path and drive us to seek coordinated solutions. Point Blue’s large-scale coordinated international research is helping to understand the impact of current and future threats to coastal wetland ecosystems, including habitat loss as the result of ongoing development and sea-level rise in the future. With our existing partners, informatics, and baseline work, we are hemispheric leaders in building research and monitoring networks to find climate-smart solutions for these many threats facing coastal wetlands.

Through our projects and trainings, we are building the capacity of our partner network to conduct applied research, implement climate-smart conservation, and develop partnerships so they can bring critical science to inform pressing conservation issues in their local community and across the 12 nations participating in our program.

Migratory Shorebird Project

The Migratory Shorebird Project, led by Point Blue Conservation Science, is the largest coordinated survey of wintering shorebirds and coastal wetlands on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. It was initiated in 2011 and is a cooperative effort of 12 countries (and counting!) and more than 40 organizations to conserve shorebirds and wetlands from Alaska to Chile by understanding the impacts of threats such as sea-level rise, habitat loss, and human disturbance. Migratory Shorebird Project data have been used to: designate new Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network sites in Nicaragua and Mexico; evaluate the health of the San Francisco Bay estuary; guide resource management in National Park Sanquianga in Colombia; measure the progress of a conservation agreement signed by the community at Bocana de Iscuandé, Conservation International and Asociacion Calidris in Colombia; and reduce human disturbance in protected areas of Mexico and Peru.

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Explore Data

Recent Blog Post

Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey

Citizen scientists and partner organizations are helping us figure out how large-scale environmental changes, like urbanization, extreme weather, and climate variation as well as agricultural flooding, wetland restoration, and management, are affecting shorebirds and their habitats throughout the Pacific Flyway.

The Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey is focused in North America but feeds data into the Migratory Shorebird Project which covers the entire Pacific Coast of the Americas.

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Explore Data


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Julian Wood

Email: jwood@pointblue.org

SF Bay Program Leader

San Francisco Bay Estuary

Point Blue staff work with federal, state and local agencies to protect, enhance and restore wetland habitats in the bay to support thriving bayland ecosystems.

Our results on tidal marsh response to sea-level rise were incorporated into the Baylands Goals Science Update, the leading plan used to drive conservation in the Bay Area. We learned that, given accelerating sea-level rise, increasing the pace and scale of tidal restoration is critical for the future of tidal marsh birds. In 2016, San Francisco Bay Area voters, recognizing the value in restoring our Estuary, passed Measure AA which will provide $25 million annually for bayland restoration. We will continue to use the data Point Blue has collected since 1996 to assess the status and trends for tidal marsh dependent birds throughout the Estuary. As the baylands change, we continue to leverage our data and partnerships to assess and guide restoration to benefit birds and our Bay Area communities.

The [Ridgway's] Rail Calls at Dawn

"A story about weird birds, supersensory perception, existential math, and the quest to make sense of nature" featuring Point Blue's Julian Wood and Megan Elrod.
By Eric Simons
BAY NATURE | baynature.org

Experience the Story

Planning for the Future

See how tidal marsh birds might respond to sea level rise, visually with an interactive map. Explore how partners are coming together to create a vision and a plan for wetland protection under climate change.

Explore Future Marshes Map

Explore the Plan for the Bay

Wetland Restoration IS Working

The beauty of San Pablo Bay restoration in a 1 min video

Watch Now

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