Shorelines such as the one at Orange County’s Balboa Beach are vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Brett Sanders / UCI

NOAA funds UCI research on sea level rise, storm surge effects on coastal landscapes

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has awarded UCI researchers $1.15 million to study and mitigate sea level rise and storm surge impacts on changing shores. They will develop modeling tools to analyze how sediment management practices affect the stability of communities and wetlands facing the tests of climate change. “Sediment is the most valuable resource we have for dealing with the risks of rising seas and storms on coastal development, wetland habitat and the iconic beaches of Southern California,” said lead researcher Brett Sanders, UCI professor and chair of civil & environmental engineering. “This project will work toward sediment management policies and practices that respond to this challenge.” The UCI researchers are partnering with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project and will use the new modeling approach to analyze different climate change scenarios projected through the next 80 years and determine how to best protect and adapt coastal lowlands. UCI civil engineer Amir AghaKouchak and social ecologist Richard Matthew are co-principal investigators on the grant, which comes through NOAA’s competitive Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise Program. Read more here.