As sea levels rise along the Northeastern U.S., 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.
This report—the first phase of the Department of the Interior (DOI) assessment effort for Hurricane Sandy projects—was developed for DOI by a metrics expert group of physical and ecological scientists and socioeconomic experts who recommended performance metrics for measuring changes in resilience resulting from the DOI-sponsored projects. It identifies natural and artificial coastal features most affected by Hurricane Sandy along the Northeast coast—such as marshes, beaches, and estuaries—and recommended metrics that would indicate resilience change in those features.