More than 50 percent of Americans live in coastal watershed counties, a percentage that continues to increase (see section 1.3). In addition, the coast is home to the majority of major urban centers as well as major infrastructure such as seaports, airports, transportation routes, oil import and refining facilities, power plants, and military facilities. All of these human uses, which represent trillions of dollars in economic investment as well as valuable coastal ecosystems, are vulnerable in varying degrees to rising global temperature and hazards such as sea-level rise, storms, and extreme floods. Intense human activity over the past century has degraded many coastal environments and stressed natural ecosystems. Nationwide, nearshore areas and estuaries are polluted with excess nitrogen and other chemicals, toxic coastal algal blooms are increasing, fish stocks are depleted, wetland loss has been dramatic, and coral reefs are bleached and dying. Climate change exacerbates these stresses on ecosystems.

S. Jeffress Williams et al
Short Description: 
Technical report to the 2013 National Climate Assessment
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Entry Date: 
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
42 pp.
Size and Format: 
8 1/2 x 11, online
Source: Coastal Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerabilities: A Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment. Chapter 2, pages 10-51.
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