The study looks at threats facing forests in an area that includes six of Virginia’s coastal counties, six towns and two cities. Urban, suburban and rural trees and forests are susceptible to climate damage and were modeled alike. Threats examined include large wildfires, climate change, storms, pests and disease, and land conversion to development or utility-scale solar. Results found that of the 237,501 acres of coastal forestland in the study area, more than half are at risk from three or more threats.This, along with the rest of the findings, shows Virginians what is at stake and what could be lost. Findings take a particularly close look at the impacts on forests when two or more threats are present at the same time. A healthy forest can often withstand the effects of any one threat, but when two or more are present, this changes. For example, when southern pine beetles infest a forest that has already been stressed by salt damage, many trees in the affected area die.
Learn more on our Resilient Coastal Forests page