NOAA to Fund Sea Level Rise Research

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science will fund over $4.6 million in research focused on helping communities address sea level rise and its impact on coastal ecosystems, infrastructure and transportation this fiscal year, it was announced Tuesday.

NOAA expects to fund five new research initiatives and eight ongoing research projects in 21 states, including a co-funding partnership with the Federal Highway Administration on two of the new projects.

One of the recipients, Oregon State University, was awarded $249,467 to optimize the ecosystem services of U.S. Pacific Northwest coastal beaches and dunes, and $245,118 to record the environmental and economic benefits from the Pacific Northwest tidal wetlands, and forecast sea level rise impact on those benefits, according to the agency.

The projects, funded through NOAA’s Effects of Sea Level Rise Program, will look into how effective natural features or restored coastal habitats are to bolstering coastal resilience.

“Our Effects of Sea Level Rise program supports science that will inform management decisions to reduce the risks of flooding and sea level rise to coastal communities, and determine the effectiveness of a range of different management actions that are being considered for improving coastal resilience,” said Steve Thur, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. “This is accomplished by enabling diverse science teams to work directly with partners that make decisions on how to protect our coasts from flooding.”

By Karen Robes Meeks