Coastal Resilience Network

Created: 6/15/2010 - Updated: 2/27/2020


The Coastal Resilience network supports a community of practitioners around the world who are applying planning innovations to coastal hazard and adaptation issues. The network provides access to peer practitioners, tools, information and training focused on nature-based solutions in a consistent and cost effective manner.

Coastal Resilience sites exist for different regions, including:

Global: The Global Coastal Resilience tools provide support for decision-makers working at national and multi-national scales in assessing where to act in risk reduction, adaptation and conservation. They build from critical resources such as the Global Platform on Risk Reduction, World Risk Report, and Conservation Atlas.

Caribbean: The impacts of climate change are increasingly seen across the Caribbean basin, a region where densely populated often low lying coastal areas are threatened by hurricanes, as well as rising warmer oceans. Given the high dependency in the Caribbean on natural resources for livelihoods, a focus on ecosystems and their interaction with people is essential for climate change adaptation. Our work in this region is focused on helping communities and government increase their resilience to climate change by protecting, restoring and sustainably managing their marine and coastal systems and strengthening local capacity for adaptation.

  • Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

Mexico and Central America: The Government of Mexico’s adoption of an approach to climate and disaster risk reduction based in natural solutions is essential to protect its people and infrastructure, and our Coastal Resilience approach and team has a real opportunity to work with the Mexican government and its international policy delegations to influence peer countries in Latin America and emerging economies globally. Mesoamerican Reef

United States: The US Coastal Resilience tools provide support for decision-makers working in the continental US identify solutions for risk reduction and conservation. They build from critical resources provided by many groups and agencies including NOAA, USGS, FEMA, USFWS, TNC and the Natural Capital Project.

Gulf of Mexico: With its high incidence of storms and hurricanes and valuable ecological and economic resources, the Gulf region is a high-risk area with great potential to demonstrate natural risk reduction solutions. The Coastal Resilience approach and tools have been applied Gulf-wide and at specific sites, including those that help identify where to implement oyster reef restoration to meet social and ecological goals. Oyster restoration demonstration projects with partners like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) creates a strong base for replication and scaling-up to larger projects.

  • Florida Keys

U.S. East Coast: The northeast coast of the United States is among the most heavily developed in the world. Much of this coastal property is only inches above existing sea level, putting billions of dollars in public and private funds and business at risk. Coastal wetlands and other ecosystems provide habitat, natural buffers from storms, and other natural benefits, are also at great risk of loss due to sea level rise.

  • New York and Connecticut
  • New Jersey

U.S. West Coast: The goals of West Coast Coastal Resilience are to: 1) improve our understanding of how climate change will impact coastal and floodplain areas; 2) combine social, economic and ecological data with future climate, fluvial, and, coastal hazard scenarios in an interactive, online decision-support tool; 3) work with local decision-makers to explore alternative climate change and disaster mitigation approaches, focusing on nature-based solutions; and, 4) provide floodplain managers with tools that integrate climate change and hazard risk information with strategies that advance flood reduction and habitat restoration goals.

  • Ventura County, CA
  • Puget Sound, WA

Coastal Resilience Apps

These apps are intended to cater to the needs of stakeholders, policies and planning processes. These apps can be used to simplify complex relationships or models, convey a specific ecological or social concept, or used to compare different future condition scenarios.

Coastal Defense

Coastal Defense quantifies how natural habitats (oyster and coral reefs, tidal marshes, seagrass beds) protect coastal areas by reducing wave-induced erosion and inundation. It uses standard engineering techniques to help you estimate how and where to restore or conserve critical habitat, and increase the resilience of your coastal community and infrastructure.

Currently implemented in: Puget Sound

Currently planning for: Gulf of Mexico (Fall 2013), Florida Keys (Spring 2014)

Community Planning

The Community Planning app is the location where resilient communities host their locally specific data to inform their decisions and track their successes. It is also where the community comes to view their information alongside and with the other Coastal Resilience data layers. This app provides information for a community-level engagement process over time.​

Currently implemented in: Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Gulf of Mexico, and New York and Connecticut

Flood & Sea Level Rise

Flooding is increasing along the coast and certain rivers. Use this app to view areas affected today and in the future due to increased sea level rise, surge from storms and hurricanes, and inland flooding.

Currently implemented in: Florida Keys , Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Gulf of Mexico, New York and Connecticut, Ventura County, and United States

Currently planning for: New Jersey, MesoAmerican Reef, Puget Sound, and U.S. Virgin Islands (Fall 2013)

Future Habitat

Certain ecosystems like coastal wetlands have the ability to move landward as sea level rises. This depends on several factors including the rate of land accretion or the amount of sediment accumulating in the coastal area, the rate sea level is rising, and whether or not there are physical obstacles preventing wetlands from moving landward. The Future Habitat app categorizes various tidal marsh advancement scenarios.

Currently implemented in: Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico, New York/Connecticut

Restoration Explorer

The Restoration Explorer allows stakeholders to examine ecological and socio-economic factors for restoration suitability. In this app an oyster reef index was compiled for restoration scenario planning where individual factors can be weighted for importance when identifying potential restoration sites.

Currently implemented in: Gulf of Mexico

Risk Explorer

The Risk Explorer is organized by state and permits users to easily visualize coastal hazards exposure, social vulnerability and overall risk. The app allows users to explore where people and properties benefit most from the risk reduction benefits provided by habitats.

Currently implemented in: Gulf of Mexico, United States

Currently planning for: New Jersey, New York/Connecticut (Fall 2013)



Coastal Resilience provides communities, planners, and officials with easy access to information to assist in coastal planning and management decisions regarding resources at risk from sea level rise and coastal hazards. This information is accessible through an interactive decision support tool. With the Future Scenarios Mapper, users can characterize current conditions and visualize the ecological, social and economic impacts of reasonable future flooding scenarios.

These interactive maps are available for:

There are several tutorial videos available to support user navigation of Coastal Resilience.

  1. General Navigation
  2. Scenario Planning


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep citizens informed of the changing environment around them. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product.


Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Sea level rise
Type of Tool
Decision Support
Modeling and Analysis
Sea Level Rise Models
GIS Mapping
Habitat/Biome Type
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Capacity Building
Create stakeholder engagement processes to develop and implement adaptation strategies
Tool Cost

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