Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) 4.1: Coastal Sensitivity to Sea-Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region

This report is one in a series of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Products (SAPs) produced between 2004 and 2009 by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, aimed at providing current assessments of climate change science in the U.S. to inform public debate, policy, and operational decisions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), collaborated on this report that discusses the impacts of sea-level rise on the physical characteristics of the coast, on coastal communities, and the habitats that depend on them in Mid-Atlantic coastal environments. It presents some of the challenges of adapting to sea-level rise as well as multiple opportunities for governments and coastal communities to plan for and adapt to rising sea levels.

Chapter 11 examines cases in which organizations are taking specific measures to consciously anticipate the effects of sea-level rise (where action was taken as of March 2008).

Appendix 1 discusses many of the species that depend on potentially vulnerable habitat in specific estuaries. It also describes key statutes, regulations, and other policies that currently define how state and local governments are responding to sea-level rise.

Appendix 2 reviews some basic approaches that have been applied to evaluate the potential for shoreline changes over 50 to 100 years.

Publication Date: January 2009

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • James G. Titus
  • K. Eric Anderson
  • Donald R. Cahoon
  • Dean B. Gesch
  • Stephen K. Gill
  • Benjamin T. Gutierrez
  • E. Robert Thieler
  • S. Jeffress Williams

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment

States Affected:


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