Our coastal communities are uniquely special and different.  However, the one thing all coastal communities have in common is being economic drivers.  Our coastal counties produce over 40% of the nation’s total jobs and contribute 46% to GDP.  The numbers are astronomical—economists estimate our “coastal economy” contributes roughly $8 trillion annually to GDP.

As discussed in the previous Surfrider climate blogs, our coastal communities are at the whim of increased climate change impacts.  Whether the impacts are from sea level rise and storm surge, extreme weather events, heat waves, or increased rainfall causing sewage overflows and toxic urban runoff; it is certain that climate change poses many challenges to our healthy coastlines and vital economic engines.

Urban areas across America will be gravely impacted by climate change—putting critical infrastructure systems such as water/wastewater, energy supply, and transportation at risk. The U.S. is highly urbanized, with about 80% of its population living in cities.  As the climate crisis continues to unfold, it is imperative that local, state and federal decision makers are proactively planning adaptation measures to save our coastal communities from potential catastrophic impacts.

Read the full article about coastal communities by Stefanie Sekich-Quinn at Surfrider Foundation.