Identifying Resilient Coastal Sites for Conservation

The Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will host a presentation on coastal resiliency at noon January 28. 

Analie Barnett, a landscape ecologist with The Nature Conservancy, will present on “Identifying Resilient Coastal Sites for Conservation in the South Atlantic” at the Susan Shipman Environmental Learning Center, One Conservation Way in Brunswick.

Coastal sites vary widely in their ability to accommodate rising seas, based on inherent natural features and the degree of human influence on key ecological processes. Scientists from The Nature Conservancy evaluated over 1,200 coastal sites in the South Atlantic for their capacity to sustain biodiversity and natural services under increasing sea levels.

Each site received a resilience “score” based on the likelihood that its coastal habitats can and will migrate to adjacent lowlands. With no action, the region could experience an estimated 77% loss of existing tidal habitats to severe inundation.

This presentation will provide an overview of TNC’s approach to identifying resilient coastal sites in the South Atlantic, examine the results, and show different ways the results can be used, such as to prioritize land acquisition, identify areas for restoration, and find roads that may fragment future marsh areas.

Results and potential applications will focus on Georgia’s coastal sites with some regional perspectives for context.