Stakeholder-defined scientific needs for coastal resilience decisions in the Northeast U.S.

Grace D. Molino, Melissa A. Kenney, and Ariana E. Sutton-Grier
Created: 4/14/2021 -

Abstract

Over the past decade, coastal communities and ecosystems in the Northeast United States have begun to face acute and chronic impacts of climate change. Extreme events such as Superstorm Sandy caused stakeholders in this region to examine what information is needed to implement adaptation and mitigation plans to prepare for the next major storm. The objective of this study was to determine research needs identified by stakeholders in the Northeast needed for decision-support and policy creation so that scientists can target future research efforts to fill gaps. Modeled after document analysis methods in Dilling et al. (2014), this study examines documents sourced from local and regional organizations in both the public and private sectors to determine gaps in information necessary for climate resilience planning. Stakeholders throughout the Northeast expressed a need for solution-based research, in particular, natural and nature-based solutions such as wetlands. Additionally, there was a need to better understand the economic impacts of climate change on key industries in the region as well as cost-benefit analyses of different adaptation options. It was also determined that government organizations, such as Sea Grant, play a crucial role in supporting stakeholder needs assessments both in terms of funding and providing necessary expertise. This study provides a baseline of stakeholder-expressed research needs in the Northeast to start the conversation between communities and researchers interested in conducting useable science.

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Keywords

Adaptation Phase
Assessment
Scale
Regional / Subnational
Sector Addressed
Policy
Research
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Capacity Building
Design or reform institutions
Increase organizational capacity
Coordinate planning and management
Conduct / Gather additional research, data, and products
Create stakeholder engagement processes to develop and implement adaptation strategies
Create/enhance resources and tools
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Storms or extreme weather events
Habitat/Biome Type
Coastal
Region
North America
United States
Northeast