Coastal resilience is the ability of communities and ecosystems to adapt to changing conditions. Effective management of our coastal resources requires improvements in understanding vulnerability and risk. UMCES scientists have been improving our understanding of coastal resilience in terms of predictive ecology, fisheries, biodiversity, and ecosystem health. However, the increasing severity of storms and flooding due to changing land use and climate change are testing the resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems.
To help build coastal resilience, UMCES scientists are assessing the relative merits of built infrastructure and natural infrastructure. We are applying a holistic approach to understanding how marshes, wetlands, living shorelines, aquatic grasses, and beach vegetation can help stabilize coasts. We are developing scientific expertise and partnerships to span and integrate natural sciences, engineering, urban planning, and social sciences needed for innovative solutions. UMCES is also building on its record of translating scientific discoveries and innovations into effective management actions.