NFWF: Coastal Resilience Assessments

About This Project


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is committed to supporting programs and projects that improve resilience by reducing communities’ vulnerability to coastal storms, sea-level rise, and flooding events by strengthening natural ecosystems and the fish and wildlife habitat they provide.

Coastal Resiliance Assessments

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has provided funding for NFWF to assess regional resilience for U.S. coastlines as well as eight targeted watersheds. In partnership with NOAA and in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), NFWF commissioned the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) at University of North Carolina at Asheville and NatureServe, a non-profit conservation science organization, to conduct the resilience analyses. This assessment builds on the evaluation concepts developed by NFWF in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.


  1. Create contiguous and standardized datasets for U.S. coastlines and eight targeted watersheds* to support coastal resilience assessment and planning.
  2. Analyze the impacts of potential coastal and inland storm events.
  3. Identify areas for restoration, installation of natural and nature-based features, and other projects that achieve maximum benefit for human community resilience, fish and wildlife populations, and their habitats.
  4. Identify and recommend specific strategies, conservation actions, and monitoring in targeted watersheds.


Regional and Watershed Assessments include:

  • Community Exposure Index map that provides fine-scale data on where communities, people, and infrastructure are at the highest risk of flooding
  • Critical Fish and Wildlife Populations and Habitats map
  • Resiliency Hubs map that identifies large swaths of connected habitat that protects coastal communities from the impacts of storms as well as support fish and wildlife
  • Project Portfolio for each targeted watershed that identifies resilience projects, including recommendations for the highest priority and most impactful projects

These analyses prioritize sites for large-scale natural and nature-based resilience project implementation that enhance or build on the existing Resiliency Hubs and will result in the maximum benefit for both human communities and fish and wildlife habitats.