Understanding the Role Coastal Marshes Play in Protecting Communities from Storm Surge and Flooding

Coastal communities are striving to safeguard themselves from increasing storm risks. One approach is to restore and manage natural features, including coastal wetlands such as Piermont Marsh on the Hudson River in New York. Residents believe Piermont Marsh significantly reduced wave and flood debris damage on the abutting Village of Piermont during Hurricane Sandy. Without the marsh, the financial impact of Sandy would likely have been far worse. Marsh managers and village leaders now seek to better understand the marsh’s capacity to buffer against waves, flood, and debris, and the economic values associated with these functions.

In partnership with the local community, this project will design and apply state-of-the-art predictive models that will evaluate different approaches to managing the marsh. As a result, marsh managers will better understand coastal wetlands’ role in enhancing community resilience to storm events and will have the tools and knowledge to make sound decisions.