Photo by Meghan Wren

Project Summary

Following Hurricane Sandy, coastal communities realized that more needed to be done to improve resiliency, both to future storms and also to the increasing levels of nuisance flooding occurring at high tides on a monthly or even weekly basis. Many municipal, state, and non-profit partners began looking to nature-based solutions as another tool for improving coastal resilience. In this context, nature-based solutions refer to coastal habitat such as dunes, beaches, floodplains, and wetlands that provides some direct benefit to people while also supporting the habitat. Benefits can include flood reduction, tourism, water quality, or fish production.

However, we can’t assume all coastal habitats provide these benefits. Thus, we needed to develop a set of metrics to monitor and assess which projects were providing benefits to people over time. Two documents were created to guide coastal restoration practitioners:

  1. The Guide to Incorporating Ecosystem Service Valuation into Coastal Restoration Projects includes a comprehensive list of human wellbeing metrics.
  2. The Measures and Monitoring Workgroup of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funded coastal resilience project consisted of almost two dozen partner organizations representing numerous areas of expertise. The Workgroup collaboratively wrote A Framework for Developing Monitoring Plans for Coastal Wetland Restoration and Living Shoreline Projects in New Jersey It was the first of this type of framework to fully integrate socioeconomic metric.

Identifying Human Wellbeing and Economic Metrics for Ecological Restoration Projects

Mid-Atlantic Region


Phillip Henry Kraft Family Memorial Fund, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Measures and Monitoring Workgroup (a 22-partner group funded through a NOAA grant) and The Nature Conservancy

Related Projects

  • Building Capacity in the US and Mexico around Market-Based Approaches in the Colorado River Basin
  • Engaging Farmers and Conservation Groups to Identify Collaborative Solutions in Mexico
  • Estimating Net Benefits Provided to Farmers by Planting Native Pollinator Habitat
  • Assessing the Flood Reduction and Tourism Benefits of Ecological Restoration Projects
  • Organizing the Farms, Forests and Rivers Workshop to encourage new collaborations in the Paulins Kill Watershed
  • Collecting Tourism Data During Hurricane Sandy Recovery​