Assessing Climate-Driven Migration in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S.
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2022)

New York Sea Grant is part of a multi-Sea Grant project that will provide a science-based infrastructure for studying climate-driven population shifts. Credit: Rebecca Grella


Kathy Bunting-Howarth, NYSG's Associate Director, E:, P: 607-255-2832

A Sea Grant-led effort is identifying the research needed to address climate-induced human migration in the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S.

Ithaca, NY, August 10, 2022 - Climate change impacts coastal communities through flooding, storm surge, extreme weather, and sea level rise. These hazards may drive the relocation of communities away from the coasts. Conversely, researchers have identified some areas of the United States as climate migrant havens due to the unique attributes of their communities. Despite increased reference to the link between climate change and human mobility (displacement, migration, planned relocation), there is a dearth of knowledge on how shifts in population patterns intersect with underlying socioeconomic, cultural, political, and environmental processes. Resources often enable or constrain the ability of communities to relocate. Programs to empower communities to make decisions on relocation are lacking.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG) and other Sea Grant programs received funding from the National Science Foundation to develop a Research Coordination Network. The project named People on the Move in a Changing Climate (PEMOCC) will provide the scientific infrastructure that is required to conduct place-based, use-inspired collaborative research on climate-induced human mobility, and regionally-tailored educational and engagement strategies.

In September 2021, NYSG facilitated and co-hosted, with New Jersey Sea Grant, a virtual PEMOCC workshop with 60 participants from Maine to Virginia. The goals were to feature the current state of knowledge on climate-induced human mobility, provide local/regional case studies, and address the unique needs of underserved and underrepresented coastal communities. Workshop outcomes included data and research gap analyses, a framework for conducting use-inspired research, education and engagement needs for building community resilience and climate adaptation, a network of interdisciplinary and diverse researchers engaged in the study of climate-induced human mobility, and a NYSG-created Linked In page for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions (to join, email

Project Partners:

• Funding: National Science Foundation
• New Jersey Sea Grant
• Georgia Sea Grant

A virtual workshop hosted by New York Sea Grant and partners engaged researchers, practitioners, agencies and NGOs in a discussion about the challenges of climate-induced human migration in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Learn more at

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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