Marine Planning
Practical Approaches to Ocean and Coastal Decision-Making

Case 1: Overlay Data and Results

Data on Coastal Hazards (risk and vulnerability of human communities) are combined with data on Biodiversity (coastal wetlands). These data or maps are overlaid through GIS to identify where there are wetlands closest to the human communities most at risk and vulnerable to coastal hazards. The overlay or GIS Intersection of these data sets indicates wetlands that may have some of the highest value for mitigating coastal hazards.

Caution: The results of these examples, like all similar model outputs, provide decision support for managers and other stakeholders and should never be assumed to represent final results or “the answer.”


Data on Coastal Wetlands and Coastal Hazards
Select Data Layer

Study Area

The panhandle of northern Florida, USA

Coastal Wetlands

Salt marsh (orange), Seagrass (green), and Oyster Reef (purple) ecosystems


Areas most susceptible to hazards from storm surge (category 3 hurricane) and flooding (100 year floodplain)


Communities most vulnerable to hazards because of societial factors such as poverty and poor infrastucture.


Overlay Results for Coastal Wetlands and Coastal Hazards

Target fish species in and outside of priority conservation areas

Select Result

Study Area

The panhandle of northern Florida, USA

Risk + Vulnerability

Risk and Vulnerability together indicate the communities most vulnerable socially and at risk geophysically to coastal hazards.

Wetlands + Risk + Vulnerability

Coastal wetlands within 5 miles of the human communities identified most at risk and vulnerable from coastal hazards. These wetlands have high potential for mitigating coastal hazards.


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