NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) program competitively selected four two-year projects totaling $1,105,115 in grants for the FY2016 Ecosystem Services for a Resilient Coast in a Changing Climate competition.
The COCA program addresses the needs of decision makers dealing with pressing climate-related issues in coastal and marine environments. The program supports interdisciplinary teams of researchers in the development and transition of climate-related research and information to advance decision-making in coastal communities and coastal and marine ecosystems. Outcomes of COCA projects inform the response and coping capacity of decision-making and management communities to climate variability and change.
As decision-makers along the coast plan for a changing climate, there is increased recognition of the importance of coastal ecosystems and their ecosystem services1. There is also an increased demand from managers and decision makers for information on valuing ecosystem services and mechanisms to incorporate this information into coastal decision-making.
For FY16, COCA held a competition to support interdisciplinary applied research projects focused on the development and application of methodologies to value ecosystems services and natural and nature-based features (NNBF)2. This competition is designed to build from research focused on ecosystem services funded in FY14. The goal of the FY16 projects is to support the integration of NNBF approaches into coastal adaptation efforts.
The four new projects to be funded by the COCA program in 2016 are:
University of Massachusetts Boston – “Improving the Environment While Protecting Coasts: A Holistic Accounting of Ecosystem Services of Green Infrastructure and Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) in an Urbanized Coastal Environment”
Lead Principal Investigator (PI): Ellen Douglas (University of Massachusetts Boston)
CO-PIs: Paul Kirshen (University of Massachusetts Boston), Kenneth Reardon (University of Massachusetts Boston), Jarrett Byrnes (University of Massachusetts Boston), Di Jin (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Juanita Urban-Rich (University of Massachusetts Boston), Jack Wiggin (University of Massachusetts Boston), Cynthia Pilskaln (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth), David Levy (University of Massachusetts Boston), John Duff (University of Massachusetts Boston)
RAND – “Incorporating Interactive Visions and Bioeconomic Values of Ecosystem Services into Climate Adaptation: An Example from Jamaica Bay, Brooklyn / Queens, New York City”
Lead PI: Craig Bond (RAND)
Co-PIs: Philip Orton (Stevens Institute of Technology), Eric Sanderson (Wildlife Conservation Society)
Clark University – “Linking Coastal Adaptation Portfolios to Tidal Marsh Resilience and Sustainable Ecosystem Service Values: Transferable Guidance for Decisions under Uncertainty”
Lead-PI: Robert J. Johnston (Clark University)
Co-PIs: Matt Kirwan (College of William and Mary), Dana Marie Bauer (George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University), Anke D. Leroux (Monash University)
University of Chicago & University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth – “Kelp forests: Their Dynamics, Services, and Fate in a Changing Climate”
Lead PIs: Catherine Pfister (University of Chicago) and Mark Altabet (University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth)
Co-PIs: Liam Antrim (Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary), Helen Berry (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)
COCA is a program in the Climate and Societal Interactions Division of the Climate Program Office, within NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. To learn more about COCA and it’s funding opportunities, visit: http://cpo.noaa.gov/ClimatePrograms/ClimateandSocietalInteractions/COCAProgram.aspx.
For a full list of CPO’s grants and awards for 2016, visit: cpo.noaa.gov/AboutCPO/AllNews/TabId/315/artmid/668/articleid/617026/NOAA’s-Climate-Program-Office-awards-443M-to-advance-climate-research-improve-community-resilience.aspx
NOAA’s Climate Program Office helps improve understanding of climate variability and change in order to enhance society’s ability to plan and respond. NOAA provides science, data, and information that Americans want and need to understand how climate conditions are changing. Without NOAA’s long-term climate observing, monitoring, research, and modeling capabilities we couldn’t quantify where and how climate conditions have changed, nor could we predict where and how they’re likely to change.
1Ecosystem services are the benefits (e.g. food, flood protection, opportunities for recreation) that ecosystems provide to people. Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Current State and Trends: Findings of the Condition and Trends Working Group, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Rashid Hassan, Robert Scholes, Neville Ash (eds). Island Press, 2005.
2“Natural Features are created and evolve over time through the actions of physical, biological, geologic, and chemical processes operating in nature. Natural coastal features take a variety of forms, including reefs (e.g., coral and oyster), barrier islands, dunes, beaches, wetlands, and maritime forests. The relationships and interactions among the natural and built features comprising the coastal system are important variables determining coastal vulnerability, reliability, risk, and resilience. Nature-Based Features are those that may mimic characteristics of natural features but are created by human design, engineering, and construction to provide specific services such as coastal risk reduction. The combination of both natural and nature-based features is referred to collectively as nature and nature-based features (NNBF).” U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Use of Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) for Coastal Resilience: Final Report.
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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