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california wildlife foundation

climate challenge: rising seas

grant award: $177,468; Year Awarded: 2018

In September, 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing considerable coastal erosion and flooding. A few months later, a series of abnormally strong winter storms brought a record-breaking storm surge that caused additional dune erosion and coastal flooding. These disasters degraded sandy beach habitats and dunes that provide natural protection for nearby coastal wetlands, coastal forests, grasslands, freshwater marshes, and human communities. Identifying sand dunes that were most resilient during these storms, this project will prioritize areas for restoration and dune re-establishment. Re-established dunes will be strategically located where they can best mitigate wave action to protect natural and human communities. This project will also integrate academic and local science, as the local community will be involved in the restoration through a citizen science program, yielding social co-benefits in addition to the adaptation benefits.