The Nature Conservancy

Coastal Resilience

Citizen Science Monitoring Project

Collect Aerial Imagery of Storm Impacts & Flooding Using Drones

The 2016 El Niño event for our coast will likely cause significant impacts to both ecosystems and the built environment in California. It also may be a glimpse of the future as climate change is likely to cause more frequent coastal flooding and inundation.

Our objective is to use citizen scientists to document how these types of extreme events change our coast and impact ecosystems and people.

We're asking the UAV community to collect and share aerial imagery of storm events like high water or flooding, coastal erosion, and storm damage. King tide events in conjunction with big swells from storms are especially interesting. To find out more about upcoming storms, check out the National Weather Service or your local news. Tide charts for California are also available online.

We'll use the imagery to produce an open source map (and data) of inundation areas, erosion events, and property damage. These maps will help the coastal planning community ground truth sea level rise flood models and help TNC figure out how nature can mitigate the impact of climate change on the coast.

using drones to capture aerial data

There are two ways you can help by flying your drones. 

  1. Capture aerial landscape shots at the highest wet water line (or other coastal impacts) and submit


Mapping Summary

Are you an experienced aerial mapper?