In This Issue
Wetland Corridors
The Conference Room
Tool Box
Research Nook
Cash Corner
Data Personals


Email us for more information about the Cooperative or for suggestions to be included in the next Cooperative Ternary.

Welcome to Cooperative Ternary
The tri-annual newsletter of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative.

In this newsletter you can get updates on the latest sea-level rise research and tools, check out upcoming meetings, and read about relevant funding opportunities.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new gallery with the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC Coastal Planning Atlas. Check out the great data that we have been producing here:
Feature Story: Gulf of Mexico Sea-Level Rise Observing Infrastructure: What's out there and what's missing?
Why Infrastructure?

Understanding effects of sea-level rise requires, in addition to extensive research and modeling, long-term, continuous observing of the ecosystem. These observations include direct measurements of sea level and highly accurate (sub-millimeter) measurements of vertical land motion and sediment processes. Often the infrastructure that is essential for these observations is installed during the course of disparate projects. As a result, the extent of the infrastructure is not well defined and critical gaps are not identified.  

Which Infrastructure?

In April 2015, the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (NGOM SSC) partners prioritized conducting inventories and gap analyses of observing infrastructure critical for understanding effects of sea-level rise. At the same workshop, the partners outlined the first steps – conducting a gap analysis of an already completed inventory of surface elevation tables (SETs) and inventorying continuously operating reference stations (CORS).

SETs help us understand how critical coastal wetlands are responding to sea-level rise, providing information about the current status of the habitats and insights into potential future adaptation. CORS are continuously tracking their movement via satellites, allowing researchers to track vertical land motion at those sites. CORS also can be utilized to provide corrections to elevation measurements taken near-by, significantly increasing the accuracy of these measurements.

Working together, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS), the NOAA Gulf Regional Collaboration Team, and the NOAA Office for Coastal Management provided funding for a US FWS Directorate Fellowship and a Northern Gulf Institute Internship to complete these priority actions.

What Did We Find?

SET Gap Analysis: The results of the gap analysis highlighted several critical precipitation, temperature, and habitat zones that are not being observed.  These gaps were combined with state and federally managed lands to identify priority locations for installation of SETs. The complete report can be found here:

CORS Inventory: Over 860 CORS from 20 different networks were identified in the Gulf of Mexico. When utilizing CORS for corrections or to estimate subsidence the closer the station to the sampling site, the more representative the data will be. It is apparent from our efforts that while combining data from multiple networks generates more comprehensive coverage, there are still gaps across the Gulf. We hope to conduct a gap analysis of the CORS inventory, as we did with the SET inventory, so that we can identify zones for strategic expansion to improve our understanding of processes related to sea-level rise.  Find the data:

Check out our webinar recording to learn more:

Conference Room
Climate Tree Workshop - Part One: Share the Knowledge
What: We're creating a new online decision-support tree to help choosing the right climate tool - the first of its kind in the Gulf. To get started, we need your input to make the decision-support tree and website a success. During this half-day meeting, tell us about: 1) the impact of climate related issues important to your community, 2) how you are using climate tools/models, and 3) the features that will help you make better choices when using our new online decision-support tree. Free lunch provided.
January 12th, 2017; Pinellas Park, Florida
     TBA; Houston, Texas
     January; Louisiana North Shore
     TBA; Florida Panhandle
More Info:
Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands Meeting
 All Gulf of Mexico Alliance team members meet to address priority actions and activities across the Gulf. This year the All Hands meeting is being jointly held with the State of the Gulf of Mexico One Gulf Summit.
When: March 29-31, 2017
Where: NOAA Disaster Response Center

Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice Annual Meeting
What: The Climate Community of Practice (CoP) brings together extension, outreach, and education professionals and community officials in the Gulf to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes, and other climate-related issues.
When: May 16-18, 2017
Where: Covington, Louisiana
More info:
Tool Box
New Resilience Indices - Expanding the CRI
Partner: Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, Louisiana Sea Grant, Gulf of Mexico Alliance
Info: Based on feedback from the Coastal Resilience Index (CRI), partners felt it would be beneficial to expand the CRI into other, more specific sectors. The new indices are: Fisheries Resilience Index, Tourism Resilience Index, and the Ports Resilience Index. Like the CRI, these indices are a facilitated process leading the participants through questions related to planning, response, and infrastructure providing a snapshot of current resilience.

Mapping Interface for Research Applications (MIRA)
Partners: University of Central Florida, Coastal Hydroscience Analysis, Modeling, and Predictive Simulations Lab, NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Info: Provides outreach specialists with a GIF that conceptually demonstrates dynamics of sea-level rise beyond the bath-tub paradigm. It also provides an interactive map designed for coastal managers and researchers to take a preliminary look at the results of years of in-depth research and modeling to better understand the dynamic effects of sea-level rise along the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf Coasts.

Planning Framework for a Climate-Resilient Economy
Partner: EPA
Info: The framework is designed to facilitate communities, organizations, and agencies adapt to the threats of climate change by understanding the economic bottom line of adaptation and climate vulnerabilities. The framework takes the participant through give steps: Organize, Evaluate, Identify, Analyze, Explore. The framework is intentionally flexible to adapt to varying levels of expertise, resources, and ultimate goals.
More info:
Location of PDF:
Research Nook
Evaluation of dynamic coastal response to sea-level rise modifies inundation likelihood
Lentz et al., 2016. Nature Climate Change 6, 696-700

Sea-level rise (SLR) poses a range of threats to natural and built environments, making assessments of SLR-induced hazards essential for informed decision making. We develop a probabilistic model that evaluates the likelihood that an area will inundate (flood) or dynamically respond (adapt) to SLR. The broad-area applicability of the approach is demonstrated by producing 30 × 30m resolution predictions for more than 38,000km2 of diverse coastal landscape in the northeastern United States. Probabilistic SLR projections, coastal elevation and vertical land movement are used to estimate likely future inundation levels. Then, conditioned on future inundation levels and the current land-cover type, we evaluate the likelihood of dynamic response versus inundation. We find that nearly 70% of this coastal landscape has some capacity to respond dynamically to SLR, and we show that inundation models over-predict land likely to submerge. This approach is well suited to guiding coastal resource management decisions that weigh future SLR impacts and uncertainty against ecological targets and economic constraints.
Full Text:
Global coastal wetland change under sea-level rise and related stresses: The DIVA Wetland Change Model
Spencer et al., 2016. Global and Planetary Change, 139: 15-30

The Dynamic Interactive Vulnerability Assessment Wetland Change Model (DIVA_WCM) comprises a dataset of contemporary global coastal wetland stocks (estimated at 756 × 103 km2 (in 2011)), mapped to a one-dimensional global database, and a model of the macro-scale controls on wetland response to sea-level rise. Three key drivers of wetland response to sea-level rise are considered: 1) rate of sea-level rise relative to tidal range; 2) lateral accommodation space; and 3) sediment supply. The model is tuned by expert knowledge, parameterised with quantitative data where possible, and validated against mapping associated with two large-scale mangrove and saltmarsh vulnerability studies. It is applied across 12,148 coastal segments (mean length 85 km) to the year 2100. The model provides better-informed macro-scale projections of likely patterns of future coastal wetland losses across a range of sea-level rise scenarios and varying assumptions about the construction of coastal dikes to prevent sea flooding (as dikes limit lateral accommodation space and cause coastal squeeze). With 50 cm of sea-level rise by 2100, the model predicts a loss of 46–59% of global coastal wetland stocks. A global coastal wetland loss of 78% is estimated under high sea-level rise (110 cm by 2100) accompanied by maximum dike construction. The primary driver for high vulnerability of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise is coastal squeeze, a consequence of long-term coastal protection strategies. Under low sea-level rise (29 cm by 2100) losses do not exceed ca. 50% of the total stock, even for the same adverse dike construction assumptions. The model results confirm that the widespread paradigm that wetlands subject to a micro-tidal regime are likely to be more vulnerable to loss than macro-tidal environments. Countering these potential losses will require both climate mitigation (a global response) to minimise sea-level rise and maximisation of accommodation space and sediment supply (a regional response) on low-lying coasts.
Full Text:

Expansion of Tidal Marsh in Response to Sea-Level Rise: Gulf Coast of Florida, USA
Raabe & Stumpf, 2016. Estuaries and Coasts, 39: 145
Understanding the influence of future sea-level rise (SLR) on coastal ecosystems is improved by examining response of coastlines during historic periods of SLR. We evaluated stability and movement of the estuarine intertidal zone along eastern Gulf of Mexico, known as the “Big Bend” of Florida. This relatively undeveloped, low-energy coast is dominated by broad expanses of tidal marsh, providing an opportunity to observe unobstructed response of a coastal ecosystem to SLR. Features from nineteenth century topographic surveys and late twentieth century satellite imagery were compared. Relative change was calculated for intertidal area and lateral migration over 120 years, a period when tidal amplitude increased in addition to SLR. Loss of tidal marsh at the shoreline was −43 km2, representing a 9 % loss to open water. At the same time, 82 km2 of forest converted to marsh and 66 km2 of forest converted to forest-to-marsh transitional habitat. The result was a net regional gain of 105 km2 of intertidal area, an increase of 23 %, constituting a marine transgression of coastal lowlands. Forest retreat was lower at zones of high freshwater input, attributable to salinity moderation and was further complicated by coastal morphology and land-use practices. Shoreline migration may not represent full extent of habitat change resulting from SLR in regions with low coastal gradients. Forest retreat was consistent with what would be predicted by an inundation model; however, shoreline loss was considerably less, resulting in a net increase in intertidal area in this sediment-limited coast.
Full Text:
Cash Corner
What: Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice Request for Letter of Intent: Climate Adaptation Projects.
Info: The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium in collaboration with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and the Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice are seeking coastal communities to participate in climate adaptation projects that will serve as local examples for other Gulf communities. The funds will assist a community in their effort for sea-level rise and climate change.
              Due date: January 25, 2017
              Funding amount: $30,000
What: Graphic and Website Design – Climate Tools Decision-Support Tree. The NGOM Sentinel Site Cooperative, Gulf of Mexico Alliance Resilience Team, and the Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice are working together to develop an online, interactive climate tool decision-support tree. This project focuses on the development of a website that will step users through a series of target questions to identify the best tool for their project. This RFP is seeking a contractor/team with expertise in graphic design and web programming who will complete tasks for our decision-support tree project.
              Due date: January 2, 2017
              Funding amount: $140,000

What: Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. This program awards projects that are designed to empower and educate communities regarding environmental and public health issues and identify methods to address these issues.
              Due date: January 31, 201
              Funding amount: $30,000
Data Personals
SET gap analysis seeking multiple partners for action
The NGOM SSC, USGS, and USFWS recently completed a gap analysis of SETs across the Gulf of Mexico. Priority zones for expansion on public and managed lands that fill multiple identified gaps are highlighted. Find the complete report online at Thoughts on opportunities to partner to address these gaps? Please reach out to!

COR inventory feeling complete, ready to get out
NGOM SSC is happy to announce the completion of our inventory of CORS across the Gulf. The complete dataset is being hosted by the GCPO LCC’s Coastal Planning Atlas, If you are interested in helping out with our gap analysis, please contact us at!

Copyright © 2016 Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp