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Enhancing Coastal Management by Monitoring Hampton’s Coastline and Barrier Island Transgression with the Aid of NASA Earth Observations

Situated at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton, Virginia is one of the most vulnerable areas in the United States for environmental stressors such as flooding, sea level rise, and storm surge. The city is engaged in several initiatives and partnerships to aggregate geospatial data to improve their coastal resilience planning. The City of Hampton is working towards visualizing the changing dynamics of its coastline and preparing more efficiently for future storm events. In order to assist in achieving these goals, this project capitalized on the temporal range of the Landsat series of optical satellites to create a 30-year time analysis from 1988 to 2018 of the Hampton coastline. The team derived coastline maps by consolidating multiple images from each year to generate annual average coastline locations, which were then incorporated into risk assessment maps and an ArcGIS story map. The results delineate areas that are at-risk to shoreline loss while demonstrating that there is a more recent trend towards modest shoreline inundation and transgression. By building a greater understanding of the fluctuations of Hampton’s coastline, city planners can more effectively build resilience plans and communicate with policy makers.