Descendants United for Nature, Adaptation, and Sustainability


In September 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico causing considerable impacts to both natural and human communities. For this small Caribbean island, the ramifications of global climate change are visceral and imminent. 


However, Puerto Rico’s is not a story of desperation but of resilience.   

In collaboration with Dr. Isabel Rivera-Collazo, Climate Science Alliance, Para la Naturaleza, Vida Marina, and Wildlife Conservation Society, the DUNAS project was convened to restore coastal dunes in northern Puerto Rico that were severely degraded by Hurricane Maria. Although sand dunes are vulnerable to damage, they are critical for protecting ecological environments, cultural artifacts, and human communities.

By weaving together cultural, ecological, and community values we lay the groundwork for a resilient future.

Project Directives


DUNAS provides a unique community-based model for how to bridge social and environmental resilience through climate adaptation strategies and solutions.​​​


In collaboration with Vida Marina, we are restoring damaged sand dunes that are critical for protecting coastal habitats and communities against future storm surge and rising seas.


The dunes safeguard numerous areas of cultural significance. Through this restoration, we buy time for archaeologists like Dr. Isabel Rivera-Collazo to preserve and document historical stories critical to community identity.


In partnership with Para La Naturaleza, we are collaborating with local communities, citizen scientists, and youth to assist in coastal restoration and climate education.

On the Blog




This project was made possible through a 2018 Climate Adaptation Fund grant from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) entitled, “Puerto Rico se Levanta: Learning from extreme events to build and sustain a resilient future". Support to establish the Climate Adaptation Fund was provided by a grant to the WCS from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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Safeguarding natural and human communities in the face of a changing climate.


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The Climate Science Alliance Team acknowledges the Indigenous peoples on whose traditional territory we work. We honor the continued presence and resilience of Indigenous communities and nations today, and thank those we work with for your friendship and your good will in our efforts to collaborate.


The Climate Science Alliance is fiscally sponsored by the California Wildlife Foundation (Tax ID: 68-0234744).

© Climate Science Alliance 2021