OverviewDownload PDF of this Page
PRESERVING HABITATS THAT SAFEGUARD SHORES
This goal measures the condition and extent of five ecological habitats that protect the coasts against storm waves and flooding. Habitats assessed are mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, salt marshes, tropical coral reefs, and sea ice.
Storm protection by coastal habitats saves lives, property and is worth billions of dollars each year.
Goal Score76 The goal score for Goal: Coastal Protection is 76 out of 100. The global average score is 70 out of 100.
Likely Future State
What Does This Score Mean?
The reference point for Coastal Protection compares the current extent and condition of protective habitats to their condition and extent in the early 1980s. The reference point for sea ice is its average extent during the period 1979-2000.
A score of 100 would indicate that these habitats are all still intact or have been restored to their reference conditions. Any score below 100 indicates that these habitats have declined in coverage or in health since then, with lower scores indicating more significant declines.
The current score indicates that although, in many places, these habitats remain healthy and intact, the extents of all five habitats have been substantially reduced or degraded when compared to their reference years. The declines observed have occurred over only about three decades.
Why Is Coastal Protection Important?
Coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses, salt marshes, and sea ice act as natural buffers against incoming waves. By protecting against storm damage, flooding, and erosion, these living habitats keep people safe and can help mitigate economic loss of personal and public property, cultural landmarks and natural resources. This goal assesses the amount of protection provided by marine and coastal habitats by measuring the area they cover now relative to the area they covered in the recent (~1980s) past.