Coastal hazards are a major theme in which the Sea Grant Program combines their research, outreach, education and communication efforts. As a Caribbean archipelago, Puerto Rico faces a variety of natural coastal hazards, such as: hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and storm surges. Our coastal hazards experts strive to create awareness of the vulnerability of coastal communities to these hazards through applied research and outreach activities. Often times, such vulnerability is aggravated by poor coastal construction practices, destruction of coastal ecosystems, such as mangroves, and weak enforcement of environmental laws. The main challenge remains to reduce risk and loss of life and property through the dissemination and transfer of information and technologies developed by Sea Grant researchers and marine advisors involved in risk management and mitigation.
UPR Sea Grant actively participates in the promotion and implementation of a Caribbean tsunami warning system, similar to the one in the Pacific Region. By investing in research projects that have produced tsunami simulation tools, as well as flooding models and maps, we stimulate socioeconomic analyses to shed light on public perceptions of risks, economic impacts of coastal hazards, and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. We also want to stimulate Caribbean-wide evaluation of coastal flooding and the hazards of short and long term coastal erosion.
The web sites below provide information and tools developed within our coastal hazards program.