Take Action to Restore Our Coastlines

Find tools and information you need to launch a restoration project in your community.

How to Use this Toolkit Watch 90-Second Video

Are you concerned about an issue affecting your local coast or shoreline?
Would you like to act but don't know how?

Get started with the Coastal Restoration Toolkit.

Local Needs Local Actions

Once you have started with our tools, we recommend you connect with your state, regional, or local government agencies, organizations, and other similar resources. Our coastlines are dramatically different from one part of the country to another. Different habitats and species, different laws and regulations, and different politics and culture all may require different approaches.

See Project Examples

Why restore a coastal habitat?

Our coastlines provide value in many ways.

It's Home

40% of the U.S. population live near our coastlines. By 2075, 75% of U.S. residents will live within 50 miles of the coast.

Jobs

The U.S. coasts support more than 51 million jobs. They include commercial and recreational fishing, commerce and shipping, coastal tourism, and recreation.

Climate Change

Well-functioning coastal wetlands hold carbon within the soil, helping curb climate change. Average carbon sequestration rates are several times greater in coastal wetlands than in forests.

Habitats for Important Species

Estuaries, where freshwater & saltwater mix, produce more food than most midwestern farmland. 75% of commercial fish species and 80-90% of recreational fish species depend on these areas

Storms & Flooding Protection

Estuaries serve as buffers to protect shorelines from storms, flooding, and erosion. Coastal wetlands provide an estimated $23 billion dollars in hurricane protection.

Clean Air & Water

Healthy coastal areas filter pollutants, improving air and water quality.

Wetlands and other fish and wildlife habitats have declined dramatically.

The U.S. lost an average of 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands each year from 2004 to 2009. Loss of habitat has reduced populations of fish and shellfish worth billions of dollars. Habitat restoration will help fish and wildlife recover.

Polluted Runoff

Development brings more roads, roofs, and parking lots. When it rains, runoff polluted with sediment, bacteria, pathogens, chemicals, and nutrients flows into our waters. Restoring clean water is important for fishing, swimming, boating, and drinking.

Degraded coastlines cannot provide the same value as healthy ones. Restoring our coastlines returns value to the community.

Invasive Plants & Animals or Non-Native Species

Invasive Species cost the U.S. billions of dollars in damages every year. On the coastline, they may harm native fisheries, tourism, outdoor recreation, threatened or endangered species, and ecosystem health. Removing invasive species and restoring native species brings myriad benefits.

Shoreline Hardening

As people add bulkheads and seawalls, this reduces critical habitat for fish and other aquatic life, making it harder for them to survive. Restoring shorelines will provide shelter, food, and rearing areas for these species.