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.
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.
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.
International Climate-Smart Wetlands
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.
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 through the SF Restoration Authority 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.