Coastal Sciences and Planning
The Coastal Sciences & Planning Team specializes in the assessment of coastal systems. The Team works in environments that span the entire coastal zone, from bays and harbors, to beaches and dunes, and complex estuarine systems. Our scientists have the professional training and skills needed to evaluate the physical and biological resources in these varied environments. Baseline studies are designed and carried out to provide an accurate understanding of the environmental conditions present and the coastal processes responsible for shaping the resources and habitats in these dynamic areas. The Team performs environmental impact assessments for proposed development projects to determine the marine and coastal resources that may by affected by the project. These assessments utilize applied science and engineering analyses to evaluate alternatives, define the nature and extent of potential impacts, and identify options for minimizing impacts. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to present data and communicate findings to broad audiences. Typical development projects include navigation channel dredging, shore protection, tidal flow restoration, beach and dune restoration, and habitat enhancement.
In addition to coastal assessments conducted in support of local, state, and federal environmental permitting for development projects, the Coastal Sciences & Planning Team also provides coastal zone management planning services. The Team develops comprehensive plans informed by an in-depth understanding of coastal systems and our clients goals for existing and future uses of the coastal zone. Our experienced floodplain managers, wetland scientists, and coastal geologists prepare beach management, coastal resiliency and sustainability, and multi-hazard mitigation plans. An important focus of the coastal planning work is to identify and facilitate measures that reduce risk and help our clients move towards a more resilient coastline that can adapt over time to the expected impacts of a changing climate.