Ocean State - Structures of Coastal Resilience, research & design

Rhode Island’s extensive shores face significant challenges in the face of global climate change. The state's ratio of land area to coastal length is second only to Hawaii's, and the many residences, commercial operations, and industrial facilities located along its 420 miles of coastline are extremely vulnerable to changes resulting from of higher sea levels and more intense storms. To provide a cohesive Narragansett Bay-based strategy for addressing growing concerns over sea level rise and storm surge, the Harvard Graduate School of Design team’s in-progress research project for Structures of Coastal Resilience is focused on developing a set of generalizable storm surge mitigation strategies. Working at a regional scale, the GSD team is studying both the physical and hydrodynamic conditions of Narragansett Bay, to identify locations and conditions in which large stands of vegetation along with minimal and precisely located hardened coastal structures might be able to mitigate wave destruction, slow water, and limit debris movement stemming from hours of surge water conditions. More information