Several Pacific Northwest (PNW) coastal communities are at risk of coastal change and flood hazards during winter seasons and, at present, local decision makers lack both the information and tools for an adaptive capacity to reduce their vulnerability, particularly in light of the uncertainty of climate change. It is within this context of uncertainty and lack of information that we are developing a transferable approach for projecting the evolving probabilities of coastal flooding and erosion, and the associated vulnerability of Tillamook County communities to that future flooding and erosion. In addition, we aim to co-develop, with the group, the information and tools necessary to assess impacts and initiate adaptation strategies in anticipation of potential sea level rise and changing patterns of storminess.

Study Area

The project study area is seen to the right. It includes the whole of Coastal Tillamook County, Oregon.

Project Objectives  
  1. Build a coastal ‘Knowledge to Action Network’ consisting of a collaborative team of stakeholders, researchers, and outreach specialists who will co-produce knowledge to inform climate-resilient strategies in coastal Tillamook county. 

  2. Develop an integrated methodology for projecting the evolving probability of coastal flooding and erosion, through time along the PNW coast, explicitly accounting for climate controls on the various processes relevant to coastal hazards.

  3. Develop the information and tools necessary to enable PNW stakeholders to envision future scenarios, assess impacts and associated evolving community and ecosystem vulnerability, and initiate adaptation strategies over the next several decades in the context of sea level rise and changing storminess.

Progress to Date

Next Step

  • Winter 2015: Form a preferred scenario.

  • Recent Publications and Products

    Project Participants

    • Neskowin Coastal Hazards Committee
    • Oregon Coastal Processes and Hazard Working Group
    • Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
    • Tillamook County Office of Planning
    • Tillamook County Commissioners
    • Tillamook County Director of Community Development
    • Oregon Sea Grant
    • Washington Department of Ecology
    • Oregon State Parks
    • Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC, Pacific Northwest RISA)
    • Community Advisory Committees
    • City Managers and Mayors
    • Property Owners
    • Developers
    • Oregon Department of Transportation
    • Regional Solutions

    Project Researchers and Students

    Dr. Peter Ruggiero (OSU), Dr. John Bolte (OSU), Dr. Denise Lach (OSU), Patrick Corcoran(OSU), John Stevenson (OSU), Katherine Serafin (OSU), Eva Lipiec (OSU), Alexis Mills (OSU), and Chad Zanocco (OSU)

    For more information contact Patrick Corcoran (

    Additional Resources

    National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Historical Shoreline Change Along the Pacific Northwest Coast (USGS)
    NANOOS shoreline mapping

    Neskowin Coastal Hazards Committee Materials

    ESAPWA Report Summary
    ESAPWA Neskowin Final Report
    Riprap Shoreline Protection Survey
    Neskowin Sub-Plan

    Project Funding

    The project team gratefully acknowledges the support of NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) program under NOAA Grant No. NA12OAR4310109 and the Climate Impacts Research Consortium (CIRC), under NOAA Grant No. NA10OAR4310218

    NOAA       CIRC      OSU