Recommendations for assessing the effects of the DOI Hurricane Sandy Mitigation and Resilience Program on ecological system and infrastructure resilience in the Northeast coastal region

This report presents metrics for assessing the resilience of natural and artificial coastal features most affected by Hurricane Sandy along the Northeast coast - such as beaches, dunes, wetlands, and grey and green infrastructure. The focal coastal ecological and infrastructure assets identified are Department of the Interior (DOI) funded projects as implemented through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act. The report establishes a set of ecological performance metrics for detecting changes in resilience resulting from the project actions, and provides recommendations for completing an assessment of how DOI projects have affected the resilience of the Northeastern coast.   

DOI convened physical science, ecosystem science, and socio-economic experts to develop performance metrics for coastal ecosystems and infrastructure features that can help natural resource managers develop best practices and guide future resilience investments. This report provides:

  • a brief definition of each coastal feature,
  • a range of project benefits associated with that coastal feature,
  • performance metrics to assess success at achieving the project objectives, and
  • select standard protocols for those metrics.

The report also offers recommendations in assessing “whole-system changes in resilience” which recognizes the inter-connectedness of these coastal features. In addition, a framework for integrating the nation’s environmental monitoring and research networks and programs is discussed. 


Through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Congress appropriated $829 million for DOI and its bureaus to address impacts from Hurricane Sandy through the Hurricane Sandy Mitigation and Resilience Program. Of these funds, $360 million was allocated to DOI for projects that promote improvements in community and ecological system resilience. DOI distributed these funds internally among DOI bureaus, and externally through a competitive grant process administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


Publication Date: June 2015

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  • Indicators
  • Monitoring
  • Tool (general)


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