Dr. Matt Bilskie
Rising seas are damaging coastal habitats in Mississippi and Alabama and increasing flood risk to coastal communities. The beaches and dunes on our coastal barrier islands are being eroded away, and coastal marshes are drowning and in need of coastal restoration activities. There are more activities needed than can be accomplished, requiring approaches to evaluate proposed projects. We are particularly responding to the management community’s interest in assistance for prioritizing restoration on the barrier islands compared to the interior marshes in the Mississippi Sound. The goals of the proposal are to (1) enhance modeling of sediment transport and barrier island evolution to include dynamic models of tides, storm surge, and marsh productivity; (2) model the physical processes and feedbacks between the offshore barrier islands, estuary and marsh; (3) Evaluate the effects of local restoration scenarios on mitigating inundation and share a probabilistic analysis of trade-offs to inform decision-making. All of this work will be done in coordination with a management advisory group.