Indicator: Resilient Coastal Sites

Aug 10, 2020
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This indicator depicts the ability of coastal habitats to migrate to adjacent lowlands in order to sustain biodiversity and natural services under increasing inundation from sea-level rise. It is based on the physical and condition characteristics of current tidal complexes, their predicted migration space, and surrounding buffer areas. These characteristics include marsh complex size, shared edge with migration space, sediment balance, water quality, natural landcover, landform diversity, and many others.

Reason for Selection

The resilient coastal sites indicator seeks to capture features of salt marshes that are important for salt marsh species and ecosystem function both now and in the future. Many of these characteristics, like water quality and landform diversity, also serve as indicators of potential future habitat quality of the site once the salt marsh is fully inundated and transitions to a new estuarine or marine habitat.

Input Data

TNC Resilient Coastal Sites Gulf of Mexico Data – Gulf of Mexico Tidal Complex Resilience Scores SLR65

TNC Resilient Coastal Sites South Atlantic Data – South Atlantic Tidal Complex Resilience Scores SLR65

Mapping Steps

1) We merged the two Tidal Complex Resilience Scores SLR65 layers together.

2) We converted the vector data to 30 meter raster data.

Final indicator values

The final indicator is continuous, with values ranging from:

6 = Above average (high)

5 = Slightly above average

4 = Average

3 = Slightly below average

2 = Below average

1 = Far below average (low)

Known Issues

– This indicator only applies to current salt marsh habitat and underestimates the importance of other habitats in the salt marsh migration space, like forested wetlands. These habitats could become salt marsh in the future.

Disclaimer: Comparing with Older Indicator Versions

There are numerous problems with using South Atlantic indicators for change analysis. Please consult Blueprint staff if you would like to do this (email

Literature Cited

Anderson, M.G. and Barnett, A. 2019. Resilient Coastal Sites for Conservation in the South Atlantic US. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science. []Anderson, M.G. and Barnett, A. 2019. Resilient Coastal Sites for Conservation in the Gulf of Mexico US. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science. []

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generated using ADIwg mdTranslator 2.17.1
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ScienceBase (USGS) View Record
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Content date:
2020-08-15 04:00:00 (lastRevision Date), 2020-08-15 04:00:00 (Release Date), 2019-08-15 04:00:00 (Start Date), 2021-08-15 04:00:00 (End Date)
Rua Mordecai(Point of Contact), Amy Keister(Point of Contact), Hilary Morris(Point of Contact), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(Point of Contact), Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS)(Point of Contact), 2020-08-15(lastRevision), 2020-08-15(Release), Indicator: Resilient Coastal Sites,,
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Southeast Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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otherRestrictions - limitation not listed; This work is licensed under a [Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License]( The blueprint data and maps provided are only intended for use as a reference tool for landscape-level conservation planning efforts.
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South Atlantic Blueprint

The South Atlantic Conservation Blueprint is a living spatial plan to conserve natural and cultural resources for current and future generations in the face of future change. It spans parts of six states, from Virginia to Florida, including U.S. waters to 200 miles offshore. The Blueprint...