Coastlines provide Alaska's most life-filled environments. From shallow near shore waters, to tidelands, beaches, bluffs, bays, lagoons, estuaries and deltas, this thin slice of Alaska supports a disproportionately large share of our state's fish and wildlife as well as most of our communities. These fantastically rich coastal environments – the place where the land meets the ocean – are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
What’s Changing? The shift in temperatures from mostly below to often above freezing is driving dramatic changes in sea ice.
What’s Changing? Shishmaref is one of many Alaska coastal villages hit by a climate change quadruple threat: thawing permafrost; intensifying storms; rising sea levels, and less shorefast sea ice to buffer shorelines from storm waves.
What’s Changing? Coastal erosion is not only a problem in low lying communities underlain by permafrost, like Shishmaref or Shaktoolik.
What’s changing? Coastal lakes and adjoining wetlands are drying, due to higher temperatures, smaller winter snowpacks, and thawing permafrost.
What’s Changing? Estuary and lagoon productivity is being disrupted by rising sea waters, storm surge, new vegetation, and freshwater flows.
What’s Changing? As glaciers melt and warmer marine waters expand, ocean levels are projected to rise 1-3 feet by 2100.