Coastal Change Happens! USGS Has Data and Tools to Help Coastal Communities Prepare

The U.S. Geological Survey has launched a new Coastal Change Hazards website focused on coordinating research and delivering tools needed by coastal communities to respond to natural hazards along our Nation’s coastlines.

As Hurricane Sally approached the US Gulf Coast, the USGS Coastal Change Hazards team produced a series of forecasts for impacts on the beach. Forecasts were updated daily based on wave and storm surge forecasts from NOAA.

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Our Nation’s coasts vary greatly, from relaxing sandy beaches and barrier islands, ecologically productive marshes, magnificent rocky coasts and cliffs, to tropical islands fringed by coral reefs and permafrost coasts where ice holds the sediments together. Each coastline is unique and faces different elements of coastal change.

Equally importantly, with more than 40% of the United States population inhabiting coastal counties, we must use the best available information and tools to reduce societal risk, protect natural resources, develop and

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USGS Director James Reilly released a study on polar bears he had stalled for months on Friday

In response to the Post report, Reilly sent an email to his staff the next day, saying his decision to delay was justified because he wanted to be “satisfied” with its underlying science before making it public.

The study, which had been obtained by The Post last month, notes that shrinking sea ice in the Arctic threatens the survival of polar bears while enhancing the opportunity for fossil fuel exploration there. “The long-term persistence of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is threatened by sea-ice loss due to climate change, which is concurrently providing an opportunity in the Arctic for increased anthropogenic activities including natural resource extraction,” it said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had been seeking the report’s release for at least three months, according to several individuals briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The agency is legally required

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