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Beach and Tidal Habitat Inventories

This collection of reports, databases, and data layers offers a birds-eye view of sandy beach and tidal inlet habitats within the U.S. Atlantic Coast breeding range of the endangered piping plover based on imagery from Google Earth, Google Maps, state agencies, municipalities, and private organizations. By comparing the location, status, and condition of potential plover breeding grounds from Maine to North Carolina during three distinct time periods -- before Hurricane Sandy, immediately after the storm, and three years after post-storm recovery efforts -- these inventories provide a habitat baseline that can help resource managers plan for future change.

Go to the Product(s)

Details about each phase of the project and links to the resulting reports, databases, and data layers are available on three subpages on Coastal Resilience website: 

Additional Resources

Webinar: View a streaming recording or download presentation slides (pptx) from the Science Seminar led by Tracy Monegan Rice on March 23, 2017

Technical description

This project inventoried modifications to both tidal inlet and sandy, oceanfront beach habitats along the Atlantic coast from Maine through North Carolina. Three distinct time periods were assessed: before Hurricane Sandy (early 2012), immediately after Hurricane Sandy (November 2012), and three years after Hurricane Sandy (2015) to document modifications to sandy beaches and tidal inlet habitat in response to the stormy. The inventories and series of reports were generated using Google Earth imagery.

Case Studies and News Stories

"Inventory tracks 'Armoring' of Beaches, Inlets" - Coastal Review Online

"Sandy beach inventory fills information gaps along Maine's coastline" - North Atlantic LCC Conservation in Action case study

"Aerial pictures tell a thousand words about potential impacts from sea-level rise" - North Atlantic LCC news

"Bird's-eye view reveals priority habitat for threatened shorebird" - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region Conserving the Nature of the Northeast blog

Project Contact(s):

, Terwilliger Consulting

LCC Staff Contact(s):

, Science Coordinator

Beach and Tidal Habitat Inventories
Product Type(s):
Foundation Information
Maps, Spatial Datasets, and Databases
Assessments and Research Results
Resource Type: Birds
Conservation Targets: Coastal and Marine
Threats/Stressors: Climate change impacts, Sea-level rise and storm impacts
Conservation Action: Site/area protection, Site/area management, Habitat and natural process restoration, Species management, Species recovery

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