Coastal Stressors

Environmental stressors are factors or phenomena that negatively impact waters or habitats and reduce their ability to provide ecosystem services. Some stressors, like hurricanes, droughts, or cold snaps, occur naturally, independent of human activity. However, of the 13 stressors evaluated by MBNEP’s Science Advisory Committee for impacts to coastal habitat types, all are related to anthropogenic (or human-caused) factors. The ten stressor types described in Table 1 were identified by the Science Advisory Committee as having the greatest impact across coastal habitats, with the first five each impacting several habitat types.