Catching up with Storm Stories

Aug 19, 2022

Take a trip through the Storm Stories.

Reserves are always monitoring their estuaries and now, they’re using this data to tell a visual story about the impact of major storms to help communities plan for the future. The project—which involved educators, coastal trainers, and scientists at Reserves affected by hurricanes—wrapped up in May 2022.

The team developed easy-to-use products that Reserves can use to quickly analyze and create graphs and tables using reserve System-wide Monitoring Program data. “Visualization helps understand the impacts of storm events,” says Kaitlyn Dietz, the project’s collaboration coordinator and coastal training lead at the GTM Reserve. “It makes them harder to ignore.”

The Delaware Reserve is pioneering the materials. “We are excited to use the products to graphically show how coastal storms impact our Reserve,” says Kari St. Laurent, their research coordinator. “Storm events are often more memorable than seasonal trends and help start conversations on climate and weather.”

“Delaware really got the ball rolling,” says Dietz. “We’re so excited to see how other Reserves use the products and what they find out.” GTM plans to use historic storm events to practice, identify people on the team to help, and to build an archive.

“We’ve made these customizable so that every Reserve can shape them in a way that makes sense for their community,” says Dietz. “But the great thing is that they can also just be used as is, depending on the Reserve’s needs.”

The team will use these early pilots to continue improving the resource. “It’s ever-evolving,” says Dietz. The project received funding and support from the NERRS Science Collaborative. Check out this webinar for more details about how to access the materials.

NERRA is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Coastal Zone Management Act—the legislation that led to the creation of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Want more Reserve stories delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter.

ReservesDelawareCatching up with Storm Stories