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Improved Prediction of Managed Water Flow into Everglades National Park Using Empirical Dynamic Modeling

Alteration of natural surface flow paths across South Florida has been detrimental to the environmental health and sustainability of the Everglades and surrounding ecosystems. As part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), predicting flows into Everglades National Park (ENP) is a central concern of effective management strategies. Management efforts have established weekly target flows into Everglades National Park through optimization of numerically intensive hydrological models. These target flows are focused specifically on flows across US Highway 41, also known as the Tamiami Trial.



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Rigorously Valuing the Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

By Curt D. Storlazzi, Borja G. Reguero, Aaron D. Cole and more

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic terms as artificial defenses, such as seawalls, and therefore often are not considered in decision making. Here we combine engineering, ecologic, geospatial, social, and economic tools to provide a rigorous valuation of the coastal protection benefits of all U.S. coral reefs in the States of Hawaiʻi and Florida, the territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. We follow risk-based valuation approaches to map flood zones at 10-square-meter resolution along all 3,100+ kilometers of U.S. reef-lined shorelines for different storm probabilities to account for the effect of coral reefs in reducing coastal flooding. We quantify the coastal flood risk reduction benefits provided by coral reefs across storm return intervals using the latest information from the U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Bureau of Economic Analysis to identify their annual expected benefits, a measure of the annual protection provided by coral reefs. Based on these results, the annual protection provided by U.S. coral reefs is estimated in