Welcome to the CSDMS Coastal Vulnerability Initiative page. The Coastal Vulnerability Initiative (currently 221 members) is focuses on deltas and their multiple threats and stresses. With most of the world’s megacities and a majority of the world’s population living near the coast, sealevel rise and other environmental stressors are expected to have profound societal and economic consequences globally and could lead to large (between 25% and 70%) losses of the world’s wetlands. Globally, trapping of sediment in reservoirs and channeling of river flows by levees and other structures has significantly reduced the natural supply of terrestrial sediment to the coastal zone, resulting in sinking deltas and eroding coastlines.
The National Research Council 2012 report recommends interdisciplinary research on coastal environments to lay the groundwork for understanding and forecasting the response of coastal landscapes to sea-level rise, climate change, and human and natural disturbance. For this initiative, CSDMS is currently participating in two large community efforts:
- Frontiers of Earth System Dynamics Delta Dynamics Collaboratory (NSF funded), and
- Global scale assessment of threatened river delta systems (NASA funded).
The two projects are mutually supportive, with the latter providing a geographically global perspective.
Where the 221 Coastal Vulnerability Initiative members are located