Collaborative Modeling the Benefits, Consequences, and Trade-offs of Mangroves and Seawalls for Coastal Communities

Through network analyses, interviews, and collaborative modeling, we are studying the impacts of mangroves, bulkheads, and other climate adaptation strategies in the Florida Keys.

Project Goals

The overarching research question of our study is:

How do diverse stakeholders, from empowered decision-makers to vulnerable groups impacted by decisions, perceive and prioritize the benefits, consequences, and trade-offs of shoreline social-ecological systems and hazard adaptation decisions?

Our Project Team

    • Steven Scyphers, Assistant Professor of Social-Ecological Sustainability, Northeastern University
    • Chris Bergh, Conservation Scientist, The Nature Conservancy
    • Steven Gray, Professor of Community Sustainability Michigan State University
    • Sharon Harlan, Professor of Sociology & Health Sciences, Northeastern University
    • Alison Higgins, Sustainability Coordinator, City of Key West
    • Randall Hughes, Professor & Marine Ecologist, Northeastern University
    • Jennifer Helgeson, Community Resilience Economist, NIST
    • Christine Shepard, Director of Science, The Nature Conservancy
    • Tori Tomiczek, Assistant Professor of Coastal Engineering, US Naval Academy

Our Project Advisors

  • Shelly Krueger, Florida Sea Grant
  • Stephanie Kaple, Former Director of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition
  • Sarah Fangman, PhD., Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
  • Nate Woiwode, The Nature Conservancy
  • Alison Bowden, The Nature Conservancy


This study was funded by NOAA’s Adaptation Science (AdSci) Program.