Coastal Defense Collaboration
The Nature Conservancy and various partners are collaborating on innovative models and decision support tools that allow planners and managers to evaluate how coastal habitats can protect shorelines from erosion, reduce the risks of coastal hazards to people and nature, and stimulate fisheries economies.
The Nature Conservancy has long been active in all of the states on the Gulf Coast protecting and restoring critical habitats. Through the Conservancy’s decade-long partnership with the NOAA Restoration Center, and more recently with support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we have jointly invested millions of dollars in the restoration of Gulf oyster reefs, seagrass beds, coastal wetlands, coral reefs, and barrier islands.
The Natural Capital Project is a partnership among Stanford University, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the University of Minnesota that works to develop and provide practical ecosystem services concepts and tools, apply these tools in select areas around the world, and engage influential leaders to advance change in policy and practice through mainstreaming the approaches.
The Center for Integrated Spatial Research (CISR) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, serves as principal software developer of the “enterprise” level Coastal Defense app. The expanded application enables users to examine the cumulative protective benefits of multiple coastal habitats. CISR also serves a leading role in the development and support of Coastal Resilience’s enterprise GIS data and web services infrastructure.
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) designed the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Defense app focused on oyster reefs and wave attenuation given specific restoration design criteria. USM works on various apps on risk, resilience and restoration in the U.S. and internationally.
The U.S. Geological Survey has collaborated on the coastal protection model and initial concepts behind the Coastal Defense app. They developed the first app in Puget Sound on tidal marshes that examines its wave attenuation benefits in relation to levee structures in Skagit Bay. USGS partners on this and other Coastal Resilience projects throughout the U.S.