What We Do

Challenges Facing Coastal Conservation

Over the last several hundreds of years coastal resources have been under stress from urban and suburban development, loss of wetlands, excessive nutrient-enrichment, pollutants, obstacles to fish migration, and introduction of invasive-exotic species. In addition to these threats, new challenges rise to the surface.

  • By the year 2025, nearly 75 percent of all Americans are expected to live in coastal counties.
  • Projections of sea level rise and climate induced changes to our weather patterns present uncertainties and challenges, but coastal habitats and species are already being impacted,
  • By restoring and securing the habitats necessary to maintain the fish and wildlife in coastal areas, the Coastal Program and its partners can help mitigate the impacts of climate change climate change
    Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

    Learn more about climate change

Facing These Challenges Together

We work collaboratively with our partners across federal, state, and local agencies as well as local tribal nations, non-profit organizations, Academic and other institutions to identify, prioritize, restore and protect regionally important habitat in the SNEP program area. Specifically, we work with our partners to:

  • Restore connectivity to our rivers and streams to support aquatic species, with a focus on migratory fish like river herring, American shad and American eel.
  • Conduct strategic land protection and habitat restoration with a focus on salt marsh salt marsh
    Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.

    Learn more about salt marsh
    and coastal habitats that support saltmarsh sparrow and other coastal species.
  • Assist in management actions to protect coastal fish and wildlife resources, including federally threatened and endangered species or others at-risk whose populations are concentrated in the SNEP program area like the American Burying Beetle, New England cottontail and the Roseate Tern.
  • Promote public awareness of the value of coastal habitats, the threats they face, and the opportunities available for the public to become involved in finding solutions and connecting with nature in the neighborhoods where they live, work and play. This includes support for Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships and creation of schoolyard habitats in and around Providence, RI and New Haven, CT.