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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

Understanding the
Long-Term Evolution of the
Coupled Natural-Human
Coastal System

THE FUTURE OF THE U.S. GULF COAST

Committee on Long-Term Coastal Zone Dynamics: Interactions and Feedbacks
Between Natural and Human Processes Along the U.S. Gulf Coast

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
Ocean Studies Board
Division on Earth and Life Studies

Board on Environmental Change and Society
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS • 500 Fifth Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by the Gulf Research Program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-47584-6
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-47584-8
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25108

Additional copies of this publication are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast: Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25108.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

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Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

Image

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

COMMITTEE ON LONG-TERM COASTAL ZONE DYNAMICS: INTERACTIONS AND FEEDBACKS BETWEEN NATURAL AND HUMAN PROCESSES ALONG THE U.S. GULF COAST

TUBA ÖZKAN-HALLER (Chair), Oregon State University

GREGORY A. CARTER, University of Southern Mississippi

JUST CEBRIAN, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and University of South Alabama

ROBERT (TONY) A. DALRYMPLE (NAE1), Johns Hopkins University

JORDAN R. FISCHBACH, Water and Climate Resilience Center and RAND Corporation

JENNIFER L. IRISH, Virginia Tech

ALEXANDER S. KOLKER, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Tulane University

SHUBHRA MISRA, Chevron Energy Technology Company (until May 2018)

LAURA J. MOORE, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MARTIN D. SMITH, Duke University

TORBJÖRN E. TÖRNQVIST, Tulane University

GABRIELLE WONG-PARODI, Carnegie Mellon University

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

DEBORAH GLICKSON, Senior Program Officer

HEATHER KREIDLER, Associate Program Officer

COURTNEY DEVANE, Administrative Coordinator

JAMES HEISS, Postdoctoral Fellow

___________________

1 National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES

GENE WHITNEY (Chair), Congressional Research Service (Retired)

R. LYNDON ARSCOTT (NAE1), International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (Retired)

BRENDA B. BOWEN, The University of Utah

CHRISTOPHER CAMERON, GeoLogical Consulting, LLC

RODNEY C. EWING, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Stanford University

CAROL P. HARDEN, Department of Geography, University of Tennessee

THORNE LAY (NAS2), Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

ANN S. MAEST, Buka Environmental

ZELMA MAINE-JACKSON, Washington State Department of Ecology, Nuclear Waste Program

MARTIN W. McCANN, Jack R. Benjamin and Associates and Stanford University

JAMES M. ROBERTSON, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey (Retired)

JEFFREY N. RUBIN, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue

JAMES A. SLUTZ, National Petroleum Council

SHAOWEN WANG, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ELIZABETH J. WILSON, Dartmouth College

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

ELIZABETH EIDE, Director

ANNE LINN, Scholar

DEBORAH GLICKSON, Senior Program Officer

SAMMANTHA MAGSINO, Senior Program Officer

COURTNEY DEVANE, Administrative Coordinator

NICHOLAS ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate

YASMIN ROMITTI, Research Associate

CARLY BRODY, Senior Program Assistant

RAYMOND (REMY) CHAPPETTA, Senior Program Assistant

ERIC EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant

___________________

1 National Academy of Engineering.

2 National Academy of Sciences.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

OCEAN STUDIES BOARD

LARRY A. MAYER (Chair), University of New Hampshire

E. VIRGINIA ARMBRUST, University of Washington

KEVIN R. ARRIGO, Stanford University

CLAUDIA BENITEZ-NELSON, University of South Carolina

THOMAS S. CHANCE, ASV Global, LLC

RITA R. COLWELL (NAS1), University of Maryland

SARAH W. COOKSEY, The Nature Conservancy

JAMES A. ESTES (NAS1), University of California, Santa Cruz

DAVID HALPERN, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

PATRICK HEIMBACH, The University of Texas at Austin

SUSAN E. HUMPHRIS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

BONNIE J. McCAY (NAE2), Rutgers University (Retired)

S. BRADLEY MORAN, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

STEVEN A. MURAWSKI, University of South Florida

JOHN A. ORCUTT (NAE2), Scripps Institute of Oceanography and University of California, San Diego

TUBA ÖZKAN-HALLER, Oregon State University

RUTH M. PERRY, Shell Exploration & Production Company

MARTIN D. SMITH, Duke University

MARK J. SPALDING, The Ocean Foundation

MARGARET SPRING, Monterey Bay Aquarium

DOUGLAS WARTZOK, Florida International University

LISA D. WHITE, San Francisco State University and University of California, Berkeley

ROBERT S. WINOKUR, Michigan Technological University

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

SUSAN ROBERTS, Director

CONSTANCE KARRAS, Program Officer

EMILY TWIGG, Associate Program Officer

JAMES HEISS, Postdoctoral Fellow

PAMELA LEWIS, Administrative Coordinator

SHUBHA BANSKOTA, Financial Associate

TRENT CUMMINGS, Program Assistant

___________________

1 National Academy of Sciences.

2 National Academy of Engineering.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SOCIETY

KRISTIE L. EBI (Chair), University of Washington

JOSEPH L. ARVAI, University of Michigan

HALLIE C. EAKIN, Arizona State University

LORI M. HUNTER, University of Colorado Boulder

KATHARINE L. JACOBS, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions and University of Arizona

MICHAEL ANTHONY MENDEZ, Yale University

RICHARD G. NEWELL, Resources for the Future

MARY D. NICHOLS, California Air Resources Board

JONATHAN T. OVERPECK, University of Michigan

ASEEM PRAKASH, University of Washington

MAXINE L. SAVITZ, Honeywell, Inc. (Retired)

MICHAEL P. VANDENBERGH, Vanderbilt University Law School

JALONNE L. WHITE-NEWSOME, The Kresge Foundation

ROBYN S. WILSON, The Ohio State University

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Staff

TOBY WARDEN, Board Director

HEATHER KREIDLER, Associate Program Officer

JORDYN WHITE, Program Officer

TINA M. LATIMER, Program Coordinator

LETICIA GARCILAZO GREEN, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

Acknowledgments

This Consensus Study Report was greatly enhanced by the participants of meetings held as part of this study. The committee acknowledges those who gave presentations at or participated in committee meetings: Damarys Acevedo-Mackey (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center), Mead Allison (The Water Institute of the Gulf), Phil Berke (Texas A&M University), Carl Bernier (Rice University), Cas Bridge (Chevron), Joe Calantoni (Naval Research Laboratory), Noreen Clancy (RAND Corporation), Craig Colten (Louisiana State University), Brady Couvillion (U.S. Geological Survey), Don Danmeier (Chevron), David Dismukes (Louisiana State University), Tom Drake (Office of Naval Research), Nicole Elko (American Shore and Beach Preservation Association), Carl Ferraro (Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources), Angelina Freeman (Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority), Mathew Hauer (University of Georgia), David Kidwell (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Maria Lemos (University of Michigan), Kelli Levy (Environmental Management Division Director, Pinellas County), Tucker Mahoney (Federal Emergency Management Agency), John Alex McCorquodale (University of New Orleans), Ehab Meselhe (The Water Institute of the Gulf), Shahzaad Mohammed (Cheniere LNG), Ryan Moyer (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), Brad Murray (Duke University), Ray Newby (Texas General Land Office), Natalie Peyronnin (Environmental Defense Fund), George Ramseur (Mississippi Department of Marine Resources), Denise Reed (The Water Institute of the Gulf), Hugh Roberts (ARCADIS), Dano Roelvink (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education), Julie Dean Rosati (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory), Jim Schock (Florida Building Commission), Hilary Stockdon (U.S. Geological Survey), Ariana Sutton-Grier (University of Maryland), LaDon Swann (Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium), Sherri Swanson (HDR Engineering, Inc.), Jason Theriot (historian and author), Elizabeth Vargas (Texas General Land Office), Jenneke Visser (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Ian Voparil (Shell Deepwater Gulf of Mexico), George Voulgaris

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×

(National Science Foundation), Ty Wamsley (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), and Eric White (The Water Institute of the Gulf).

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

John Anderson, Rice University

R. Lyndon Arscott, International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (Retired)

Craig Colten, Louisiana State University

Jamie Kruse, East Carolina University

Nirnimesh Kumar, University of Washington

Maria Carmen Lemos, University of Michigan

Allen Marr, Geocomp Corporation

Bonnie McCay (NAS1), Rutgers University

Richard McLaughlin, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

Denise Reed, University of New Orleans

Mark Stacey, University of California, Berkeley

Ariana Sutton-Grier, The Nature Conservancy

Robert Weisberg, University of South Florida

Although the reviewers provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Michael C. Kavanaugh (NAE2), Geosyntec Consultants, and Linda K. Blum, University of Virginia. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

___________________

1 National Academy of Sciences.

2 National Academy of Engineering.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R10
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R11
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25108.
×
Page R12
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The U.S. Gulf Coast provides a valuable setting to study deeply connected natural and human interactions and feedbacks that have led to a complex, interconnected coastal system. The physical landscape in the region has changed significantly due to broad-scale, long-term processes such as coastal subsidence and river sediment deposition as well as short-term episodic events such as hurricanes. Modifications from human activities, including building levees and canals and constructing buildings and roads, have left their own imprint on the natural landscape. This coupled natural-human coastal system and the individual aspects within it (physical, ecological, and human) are under increased pressure from accelerating environmental stressors such as sea level rise, intensifying hurricanes, and continued population increase with its accompanying coastal development. Promoting the resilience and maintaining the habitability of the Gulf Coast into the future will need improved understanding of the coupled natural-human coastal system, as well as effective sharing of this understanding in support of decision-making and policies.

Understanding the Long-term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System presents a research agenda meant to enable a better understanding of the multiple and interconnected factors that influence long-term processes along the Gulf Coast. This report identifies scientific and technical gaps in understanding the interactions and feedbacks between human and natural processes, defines essential components of a research and development program in response to the identified gaps, and develops priorities for critical areas of research.

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