Coastal Adaptation Strategies: Case Studies

Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas
At Dry Tortugas National Park, investments to repair historic Fort Jefferson are strategic in nature and informed by climate change considerations.

NPS Photo by Marcy Rockman


Many national park units across the country protect coastal resources of significant value. These areas are increasingly feeling impacts from climate change, including sea level rise, shoreline erosion, ocean acidification, warming temperatures, groundwater inundation, and changing precipitation patterns.

Many park units are taking innovative action to prepare for--and respond to--climate change. These solutions span a broad gamut of management, including baseline data collection, historic preservation, archeological surveys, habitat restoration, infrastructure design, and long-term planning.

In September of 2015, the National Park Service released the following summary report detailing 24 coastal adaptation efforts occurring in 15 states across the country. This report was compiled to generate inspiration and dialogue among park managers and other coastal management agencies responsible for stewarding natural and cultural resources amidst the hazards of climate change. Individual case studies and project contacts are detailed in the table below.

Cover of Case Studies Report
National Park Service Report, NPS 99/129700
September 2015
(PDF, 2 MB)


Explore the Case Studies
Each link below will open the case study in PDF format

Case Study Park Primary Contact
Acadia National Park, Maine Rebecca Cole-Will
Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas
Jack Johnson
Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland & Virginia Deborah Darden
Relocating Visitor Facilities Threatened by Erosion Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland & Virginia Deborah Darden
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska Dr. Tahzay Jones
Cultural Resources Inventory and Vulnerability Assessment Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Alaska Dael Davenport
Shell Mound Sites Threatened by Sea Level Rise and Erosion Canaveral National Seashore, Florida Dr. Margo Schwadron
Reducing Vulnerability of Coastal Visitor Facilities Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts Lauren McKean
Relocating the Lighthouse Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina John Kowlok
Consideration of Shackleford Banks Renourishment Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina Patrick Kenney
Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina Patrick Kenney
Strategic Planning and Responsible Investments for Threatened Historic Structures Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Kelly Clark
Developing Sustainable Visitor Facilities Everglades National Park, Florida Fred Herling
Incorporating Climate Change into Florida's State Wildlife Action Plan Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Brian Branciforte
Lighthouse Stabilization Design Incorporates Sea Level Rise Fort Pulaski National Monument, Georgia Mike Eissenberg
Restoring the Jamaica Bay Wetlands Gateway National Recreation Area, New York Patricia Rafferty
Developing a Multi-Agency Vision for an Urban Coastline Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California Kristen Ward
Establishing Alternative Transportation to Fort Pickens to Supplement Vulnerable Road Access Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida Dan Brown
Large-scale Restoration of Barrier Island Systems and Cultural Resource Protection through Sediment Placement Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida Dan Brown
Recognizing Coral Adaptations to Environmental Stressors National Park of American Samoa Tim Clark
Storm Surge and Sea Level Change Data Support Planning NPS Geological Resources Division, Colorado Dr. Maria Caffrey
Olympic National Park, Washington Dave Conca
Point Reyes National Seashore, California Lorraine Parsons
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming Steven Iobst


Report Editors

Courtney A. Schupp
National Park Service
Geologic Resources Division
7333 W. Jefferson Ave,
Suite 450
Lakewood, CO 80235
Rebecca L. Beavers
National Park Service
Geologic Resources Division
7333 W. Jefferson Ave,
Suite 450
Lakewood, CO 80235
Maria A. Caffrey
University of Colorado Boulder
Geological Sciences Department
UCB399
Boulder, CO 80309


Last updated: January 14, 2016

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