With inextricably linked tectonic and climate-driven coastal hazards, Cascadia provides a unique opportunity for the study of local coastal changes spanning time scales from minutes to millennia, reflecting complex and locally-specific layering of impacts from chronic and acute hazards.  Long-term relative sea level rise is governed here by tectonic motion, with the highest west coast rates of relative sea level rise found at the southern end of Cascadia, while relative sea level rise (RSLR) is muted along some stretches of the Olympic Peninsula in the north by uplift.

The Cascadia CoPes hub is designed to test two overarching hypotheses: (1) Fundamental advances in convergent coastal hazard sciences will transform understanding of the risks coastal communities face, and (2) An inclusive, co-produced approach to advancing hazard assessment and mitigation will increase coastal communities’ adaptive capacity and broaden participation in achieving equitable and just disaster risk reduction. 

With collaboratories* representing the diversity of Cascadia coastlines and peoples, the project will: (a) identify likely sources of earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and land-level change, integrate new observations and develop coupled event simulations based on novel probabilistic tectonic multi-hazard risk models, (b) assess climate-driven compound fluvial-coastal flooding and how these drive coastal morphology changes and ecosystems, to quantify probabilistic exposure to coastal hazards under present and future conditions, (c) assess risk mitigation and dynamic adaptation strategies, including use of natural and nature-based features, (d) identify and test multi-use and asset-focused adaptation strategies for disaster risk reduction in processes that incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge/Local Ecological Knowledge (TEK/LEK), (e) study the inclusiveness of coastal governance structures for hazards resilience and science-informed hazards response, and (f) explore the conceptual linkages and communications challenges across (a-e).

*Collaborations with coastal communities that provide initial laboratories for working on localized coastal issues. The Cascadia CoPes hub addresses hazards and resilience issues relevant for all of Cascadia and welcomes suggestions from all coastal communities in the region for new research.