By The Nature Conservancy
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FLA. — Oct. 4, 2010— The potential impact of sea-level rise at five key estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico will be the focus of a two-year study led by The Nature Conservancy in Florida and paid for through a cooperative agreement with the EPA.
The project will use digital-mapping technology and simulation modeling to investigate potential effects in the Gulf of Mexico through the year 2100 under three separate global sea-level rise scenarios in an effort to help leaders and communities in the estuary areas plan for sea-level rise.
"Modeling sea-level rise impacts on coastal systems at several Gulf of Mexico estuaries will improve our collective understanding of the likely pattern and timing of habitat loss," said Conservancy Senior Marine Scientist Laura Geselbracht, who will be leading the project. "The resulting information will allow agencies and communities to develop effective, proactive strategies for avoiding and mitigating impacts to both natural and human systems and native species."
The estuaries proposed for study are Tampa Bay, Southern Big Bend, Pensacola Bay, Mobile Bay and Corpus Christi Bay. The potential scenarios include sea-level rises of 1 meter — about 3.2 feet — and 2 meters. The third will be a more conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sea level rise scenario, A1B max, which is 0.64 meters.
For more on the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program, click here