Key Players in Coastal Resilience (Part One)

When I started doing coastal resilience work for Oregon Sea Grant I first wanted to find out who else is working in this area and what they are doing. What I discovered is that there are dozens of organizations, big and small, dedicated to coastal resilience around the US. As coastal communities around the country become more interested in resilience, they may look for resources to help them navigate this complex landscape. So, I thought it would be useful to share with you three large organizations who are well established in this field of research and practice. I will follow up in another post with smaller, state level, organizations working in this area. For now, here are three national organizations working hard to make our coasts more resilient.

First, the Coastal Resilience Network is a web-based community of researchers led by the Nature Conservancy. Their work is “addressing increasing threats due to sea level rise and storms by bringing science and action together where nature is part of the solution to reduce risk.” They partner with a number of organizations in achieving their goals, including United States Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Center for Integrated Spatial Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz. You can learn more about their work by going to their website ( or by following them on Twitter @Coastal Resilience.

Second,  NOAA developed the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, which is designed to “provide scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events.” Further, “the site is designed to serve interested citizens, communities, businesses, resource managers, planners, and policy leaders at all levels of government.” Anyone who navigates to the website: will find an array of useful information and a variety of tools designed to help communities become more resilient to their location specific hazards. The site contains everything from risk analysis frameworks and metrics, to temperature and rainfall data sets that can be used to inform decision making.

Third, The Coastal Hazards Center was developed post Hurricane Katrina by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Jackson State University also co-lead the organization. Their mission is to “enhance the Nation’s ability to safeguard its people, property, and economy by increasing their resilience to the consequences of natural hazards.” Though much of their work has taken place along the eastern coast of the United States, they are starting to do more work out here in the west. The group supports a number of projects focused on things like developing cutting-edge storm surge models, local municipality resilience plan development, and educating students interested in  coastal hazards management careers. You can learn more about this group by going to:

Please feel free to comment to elaborate on or provide feedback regarding the information I have provided here.

(Miriah Russo Kelly is Oregon Sea Grant’s Coastal Resilience specialist. Follow her new blog, Resilience Roots, to learn more about her work, and the program’s).






Port Orford Field Station Holds Open House Nov. 14

PORT ORFORD – Oregon State University’s two-year-old research field station in Port Orford will hold an open house Nov. 14 to celebrate its expanded role in coastal research, outreach and education.

The open house runs from 3-6 pm at the station, 444 Jackson Street, in Port Orford. It’s free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served.

The field station is supported by numerous programs at OSU that have a role in marine studies, including Oregon Sea Grant, the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES), the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the OSU Research Office.

Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, a local fish processor, is also located in the building and its staff will be on-hand during the open house to describe its operation.

“The field station has been a place that professional scientists, students and citizen scientists can use as a base of operation to study topics ranging from the ecology of marine reserves to gray whale foraging behavior,” said Cynthia Sagers, OSU’s vice president for research. “The field station provides two laboratories, classroom and office space, and housing for visiting researchers.”

Station manager Tom Calvanese said that in June, the station installed a SCUBA air fill station to support scientific divers conducting underwater surveys. “Recently, we began to make this service available to recreational divers seeking to explore the rocky reefs in the area – a known diver destination,” he said.

Funding for the facility was launched with a $425,000 allocation by the Oregon Legislature in 2011 to purchase the building. OSU has funded its operation since.