Coastal Ecology

CCRM conducts research on multiple aspects of the ecology of coastal habitats and assemblages.  We investigate the factors, both human and natural, that influence the distribution and sustainability of coastal habitats and species in the estuary to inform coastal management. 

Our research often focuses on estuarine shorescapes, a shoreline zone which includes riparian, intertidal, and littoral areas.  We strive to understand nearshore ecosystem processes and patterns and the response of these coastal ecosystems to multiple stressors.  This will enhance our ability to manage systems and preserve their critical ecosystem functions and services.

Shorescapes - Tabbs Creek

To this end, our research explores the interactive effects of human and natural stressors, such as shoreline hardening, land use development, and climate change, on coastal habitats and estuarine fauna, including fish, invertebrates, and diamondback terrapin.  We use state-of-the-art technologies and methodologies to assess coastal habitat condition and trends, and our research supports the development of restoration/conservation strategies and decision-tools.