About Summit

Emerging Tools and Approaches to Accelerate Coastal Ecosystem Restoration and Management
Coastal and estuarine habitats remain at-risk globally. Salt marshes, oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, mangroves, and coral reefs provide a wide variety of essential ecosystem services for coastal communities. These include nursery habitat for ecologically and commercially important species and shoreline protection to protect against flooding and storm events. Despite their importance, these habitats continue to decline worldwide because of the combined impacts of climate change and other human stressors. Effective efforts to conserve and restore these habitats at the global scale are increasingly imperative. In particular, there is an urgent need to better understand the extent of these coastal habitats, the ecosystem services they provide, and how these habitats are changing over time. Rapid and emerging scientific and technological advances present an opportunity to expand our knowledge and understanding of these habitats and could serve to accelerate conservation and restoration efforts. Success depends upon improving linkages between scientists and policymakers on how these emerging tools and approaches can be incorporated into habitat management, and appropriate prioritization of research efforts based on management needs.

This session seeks to bring together a diverse audience, including scientists, managers, and other restoration and management practitioners, for a unique discussion that explores: emerging scientific tools and approaches that can inform coastal habitat conservation and restoration throughout the US; successes and challenges for implementing these tools at meaningful management-scales; and priorities for future research. Session attendees will hear from academic and federal researchers from across the US on a suite of emerging tools that can be applied to coastal habitats in different regions. Topics that will be addressed include: new approaches for monitoring the extent and health of coastal habitats, novel methods for predicting future coastal habitat extent given a host of natural and anthropogenic barriers, connecting restorative shellfish aquaculture with water quality management, scaling up scientific monitoring efforts to inform emerging blue carbon policies, and linking habitat health and protection with risk reduction to coastal communities.
Science and Technology