The coastal vulnerability index (CVI) provides insight into the relative potential of coastal change due to future sea-level rise. The maps and data presented here can be viewed in at least two ways:
- as indicators of where physical changes are most likely to occur as sea level continues to rise; and
- as planning tools for the Dry Tortugas National Park.
As ranked in this study, geomorphology, historical rates of shoreline change, and significant wave height and are the most important variables in determining the spatial variability of the CVI for Dry Tortugas. Regional coastal slope, tidal range, and sea-level rise rate do not contribute to the spatial variability in the coastal vulnerability index.
Dry Tortugas National Park preserves a dynamic natural environment, which must be understood in order to be managed properly. The CVI is one way that park managers can assess objectively the natural factors that contribute to the evolution of the coastal zone, and thus how the park may evolve in the future.