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Dune Inventory,
Vulnerability Assessment, &
Restoration Frameworks

California’s dune systems have high potential to act as a natural buffer to coastal flooding and climate change impacts, increasing coastal resilience and protecting infrastructure. 

We are conducting a state-wide dune inventory and vulnerability assessment to create restoration frameworks that identify current conditions/resilience of dunes and develop state-wide guidance for management.


Climate Action Fund Grant

In partnership with 17 other collaborators and end-users, the Network recently received a California Climate Action Fund Grant to study the functionality of dunes as nature-based solutions (NbS) to climate change impacts.  


The findings from this project will be used to inform other Nbs dune projects and to develop state-wide guidance for dune monitoring, implementation, and maintenance.

Explore projected deliverables/products below.

Dune Inventory

Dune Inventory & Vulnerability Assessment

A detailed  ArcGIS inventory of coastal dunes along the California Coast. 
                      -Key dune attributes (vegetation, dune boundary, 
                       ecosystem service, ect.)
                      -Attributes from pilot sites (beach width, dune
                       height, volume,  ect.)
                     -Historical dune presence 


Vulnerability Assessment: 
 - Adds value to the inventory by identifying the status of resilience for a set of pilot sites to erosion, flooding, and sea level rise. 

Contact us if you can provide any of the dune data listed above 

Pilot & Monitoring Sites

The project extends monitoring and results from 27 beach-dune sites spanning the state, from Crescent City to Imperial Beach, including those in undeveloped to highly urbanized areas and in 11 disadvantaged communities.   

Drone and hand held RTK monitoring will record the following attributes seasonally and pre/post storm events:


beach/dune form (beach width, dune height, volume, areal extent,  accommodation space)

function (sediment budgets, aeolian activity, plant cover/communities,  vulnerable  species, critical habitats, association with wetlands) 

ecosystem services (flood control, erosion  mitigation, tourism, conservation, etc.

Restoration Frameworks

Site Suitability, Restoration, and Performance Frameworks

No framework exists for assessing the suitability of, and
prioritization of sites for coastal dune restoration in California


The frameworks will provide a roadmap to identify sites, feasibility constraints and suitable restoration methods. They will: 

 -Identify common monitoring protocols for evaluating project performance and resilience 

 -Facilitate comparative evaluation across sites and restoration methods. 


They key goal of the frameworks will be to indicate where conditions and processes are capable of maintaining dunes that can persist and improve coastal resilience with limited intervention post-restoration.

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