As sea levels rise along the northeastern US, coastal forest ecosystems are being impacted. To better enable climate-smart decision-making, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northeast Climate Hub engaged researchers at Rutgers University to conduct a synthesis of the current state of knowledge concerning how northeastern U.S. coastal forests, specifically those in mid-Atlantic and southern New England states (VA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, and MA), are responding to impacts from climate change. Drawing upon the scientific literature, expert interviews, and a January 2020 convening of scientists and land managers at the U.S. National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, Maryland, this synthesis identifies key knowledge gaps as well as potential management approaches. Project outcomes include the 2020 report Impacts of Climate Change on Coastal Forests in the Northeastern US, a research brief, and a webinar.
As a follow-up to the initial report, researchers at Rutgers University undertook a geographic information system (GIS)-based analysis to map out those portions of the MidAtlantic-southern New England coastal forest most vulnerable to ongoing sea level rise (SLR). The 2023 report is entitled Northeast USA Region-Wide Assessment of the Vulnerability of Coastal Forests to Sea Level Rise.
The reports, research brief, and webinar, a link to instructions for how to access Coastal Forest Dieback Geospatial Layers, along with the agenda and presentations from the January 2020 convening, are provided below.