- Understand regional sediment system dynamics.
- Determine natural and human influences on the littoral system.
- Predict coastal behaviour at a management scale (i.e. decades and tens of kilometers).
The Study objectives are:
- to understand the regional coastal sediment system along the Columbia River littoral cell, and
- to develop the knowledge foundation to support local, state and federal decision-making, management strategies, land-use planning, resource allocations, and hazard-reduction solutions.
The Study focuses on the application of knowledge gained from research to practical management and decision-making issues. As a result, two priority efforts are emphasized:
- Predict coastal behaviour at scales relevant to management. Predictive modeling at scales of decades and tens of kilometers rely heavily upon the concept of nested hierarchical scales of coastal systems whereby it is possible to scale down from geological-based models and scale up from processes-based models. Initially, the work involves producing realistic scenarios of future coastal change based on an integrated understanding of the coastal evolution of the Columbia River littoral cell. Probable scenarios and first-order predictions are now being developed. Combined monitoring and modeling efforts will be essential to continued improvements of predictive capabilities, especially those associated with quantifying shoreline change and accurately defining future positions of the shoreline and its dynamic range over relevant temporal and alongshore spatial scales.
- Provide decision-support products and technical assistance that directly link scientific research with coastal management needs. Most importantly, this work requires the identification of sections of the coast susceptible to erosion, flooding, and impacts from coastal changes. Information on vulnerable areas needs to be developed to mitigate coastal hazards, guide land-use planning, and enable prudent investments in community infrastructure. A variety of diagnostic tools can be developed to determine what is at-risk and help communities define acceptable levels of risk. A principal challenge will be to manage the inherent uncertainties in identification of the vulnerable areas and to provide a variety of products to support the decision-making process of coastal managers.