June 25, 2021
The Coastal Research Center hosts the Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research program – a 30+ year project funded by the National Science Foundation and established in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy. In this program, scientists from >10 universities work together to study and understand coastal lagoon and barrier island systems along Virginia's Eastern Shore.
The Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) is an extremely dynamic, heterogeneous coastal barrier landscape comprising mainland watersheds, tidal marshes, lagoons, and barrier islands. Our goal for the VCR LTER program is to develop a predictive understanding of the response of coastal barrier systems to long-term environmental changes in climate, sea level and land use, and to relate these to the ecological services the coastal barrier systems provide. We focus on how slow progressive environmental changes interact with short-term disturbances such as storms and species invasions to control the dynamics and biotic structure in the coastal barrier landscape.