Coastal ecosystems are subject to numerous climate stressors that can impair ecosystem health and function. These systems are directly affected by climate change impacts such as sea level rise, increasing storm events, ocean acidification and warming water temperatures. In many cases, human activity has intensified coastal vulnerability through  nutrient pollution, disruption of the flow of water and sediments, groundwater extraction, shoreline hardening, introducing invasives, and coastal development.

Although vulnerability assessments specific to coastal ecosystems are not available through the NIACS Climate Change Response Framework, natural resource professionals can use regional forest ecosystem vulnerability assessments to understand site vulnerability in forested coastlines.