Tagged: Coastal

Norfolk Special Service District Policy for Flood Protection

In June 2019, the Norfolk City Council adopted a policy authorizing the creation of Special Service Districts (SSD) to support implementation of local flood risk reduction and water quality improvement projects in the City of Norfolk, Virginia. SSDs enable a group of residents to agree to pay a tax to finance additional services in a particular neighborhood. The Norfolk policy allows SSD funding to be used to pay for flood mitigation, dredging, water quality improvements, and coastal protection projects.

Maine Act to Help Municipalities Prepare for Sea Level Rise (LD 563)

Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law LD 563, “An Act to Help Municipalities Prepare for Sea Level Rise” in May 2019. The law amends the State’s growth management and local land-use planning requirements (at Title 30-A, Chapter 187 of the Maine Code) to address the effects of sea-level rise. It allows coastal municipalities and “multimunicipal” regions including coastal municipalities to consider sea level rise projections and potential effects on buildings, transportation infrastructure, sewage treatment facilities, and other municipal or private facilities.

Texas 2019 Coastal Resiliency Master Plan

The Texas General Land Office (GLO) updated Coastal Resiliency Master Plan provides a framework for the protection and adaptation of coastal infrastructure and natural resources across the most vulnerable regions of the Texas Gulf coast. The Resiliency Plan adopts the most current storm surge and sea level rise models to determine the implication of projected climate impacts, coastal hazards, and prioritization of these projects. The priority issues of concern identified for resilience planning on the Texas coast focus on degraded or lost habitat, beach and dune erosion, storm surge, coastal flooding, impacts on water quality and quantity, loss of marine and coastal resources, and shoreline debris.

Mexico Beach, Florida – Floodplain Ordinance 712

Mexico Beach is on the Gulf of Mexico in Bay County, Florida and faces climate enhanced hurricanes, coastal storm surge, sea level rise and flooding impacts. In October 2018, Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm, made landfall in Mexico Beach demolishing 70% of the town’s homes. The coastal community has amended the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zones maps to reflect storm surge flood levels and high risk floodplain areas as implicated by Hurricane Michael flooding.  An ordinance has been adopted in which new construction in Mexico Beach must be elevated at least a foot and a half higher than FEMA’s base-level flood predictions in both the region’s 100-year and 500-year floodplains.

Mainstreaming Sea Level Rise Preparedness in Local Planning and Policy on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy partnered with the Georgetown Climate Center (GCC), the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative, and the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center for this analysis on sea level rise preparedness in Maryland’s Eastern Shore region. GCC offers a discussion of strategies related to floodplain, zoning and regulatory standards to support sea level rise and coastal flooding resilience policies and decision making.

Rigorously Valuing the Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

This report issued by the U. S. Geological Survey and the U. S. Department of the Interior quantifies the value of U. S. coral reefs in protecting people and infrastructure from coastal hazards that will be exacerbated by climate change and sea-level rise including extreme weather events, flooding, and erosion. The report is intended to inform stakeholders and decision-makers of the value of coral reefs in reducing risk from coastal hazards, and to provide quantitative data that can be used to consider the role coral reefs should play in adaptation and risk mitigation planning.

Sea-level Rise: Projections for Maryland 2018

Maryland’s shoreline and coastal bays are highly vulnerable to sea-level rise (SLR), causing shoreline erosion, deterioration of tidal wetlands, saline contamination of low-lying farm fields, “nuisance” tidal flooding, and more.  Fulfilling requirements of Maryland’s Commission on Climate Change Act of 2015, this report provides updated projections of sea-level rise expected into the next century along Maryland’s coast. The probabilistic SLR projections presented in the report offer a scientifically sound and readily applicable basis for planning and regulation, assessments of changes in tidal range and storm surge, development of inundation mapping tools, infrastructure siting and design, and identification of adaptation strategies for high-tide flooding and saltwater intrusion.

2018 Carolinas Regional Adaptation Leadership Awards

Regional Adaptation Leadership Awards

Congratulations to our 2018 Carolinas Regional Adaptation Leadership Award honorees Holly White, John Fear, and Steven Frank! Thank you for your contributions and leadership in the field of climate adaptation.


Holly White, Winner
Principal Planner, Town of Nags Head
Elizabeth City, NC

Twitter: @Townofnagshead
Web: https://www.nagsheadnc.gov/

Holly White is a dedicated climate adaptation leader in her community as well as for all of North Carolina. Her tenacity in action, vision, creativity, and sheer determination to engage with others and promote adaptation strategies and planning underscores her efficacy in putting dedication into practice. Through her strength and talent for engaging a diverse set of stakeholders, she has established the Town of Nags Head as a model for other communities to emulate in their adaptation efforts. Holly crafted a vision for a resilient Nags Head by learning about adaptation and engaging the public, both those supportive and skeptical of the need for sea level rise planning. To approach adaptation planning, Holly assembled a team across town departments that included planning, engineering, public works, and septic health. Her leadership has fostered integrated, interdisciplinary resilience. Grounding in shared values, her work has strengthened support and capacity for sea level rise planning.

Holly is ensuring that adaptation addresses complex hazards, centering the interactions between sea level rise, rainfall, and water use in driving groundwater table height and consequent flooding. The mainstreaming approach to adaptation Holly recommended will ensure that complex hazards are included across all implemented plans. Holly is now sharing lessons learned from Nags Head throughout northeastern North Carolina, initiating efforts to reach across the border with Virginia as well as rural northeastern NC counties. Through her dedication to public service, she is fulfilling her vision of a resilient rural North Carolina. We are very grateful for her service in the field, and honored to name her the Carolinas RALA Winner. Congratulations, Holly!


John Fear, Honorable Mention for Building Capacity and Fostering Connectivity
Deputy Director, North Carolina Sea Grant and N.C. Water Resources Research Institute
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Twitter: @SeaGrantNC and @NC_WRRI
Web: https://ncseagrant.ncsu.edu

John Fear’s vision is a key asset for North Carolina Sea Grant and the Water Resources Research Institute. John’s leadership as Deputy Director has shaped each program to meet crucial needs in the state. As part of National Sea Grant visioning efforts, John has helped set the stage for discussion on climate change and adaptation, integrating climate change into strategic plans and daily operations. John chairs the North Carolina Sentinel Site Cooperative, which focuses on climate change impacts along the state’s central coast. Utilizing local ecological knowledge, residents provide valuable historical context in research projects, participate in current citizen science efforts and offer input during planning sessions. A creative expression of this engagement is the innovative RISING project, which uses fine art photography and oral histories to stimulate discussions of environmental changes that include community members and scientists.

The North Carolina Community Collaborative Research Grant Program exemplifies John’s ability to identify needs, work with colleagues to develop solutions, and leverage partnerships to accomplish goals. John recognizes there is a significant training component needed to underpin adaptation practice and planning efforts. John is a mentor and facilitator for graduate studies, leading North Carolina Sea Grant, Water Resources Research Institute and Sentinel Sites programs to provide strong research experiences for students. John also coordinates recruitment and review of applications for national fellowships in marine policy, coastal management and fisheries management. Combined, these state and national fellowships offer graduate students critical opportunities to approach challenges such as climate change — and development of related adaptations — from real-world perspectives that demand interdisciplinary approaches. We are pleased to recognize John for his ability to build capacity and foster collaboration. Congratulations, John!


Steven Frank, Honorable Mention for Adaptation Integration
Associate Professor of Entomology, North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC

Twitter: @OrnaPests and @EcoIPM
Web: www.ecoipm.org

Steven Frank is an internationally recognized Entomologist known for his work to understand how urban heat islands affect tree health and pest populations, and whether the effects of urban warming can predict the effects of global warming and climate change. As trees are critical to mitigate urban heat islands, remove air pollutants, and benefit human health, Steven’s mission is to understand why urban tree health declines and develop ways to sustain urban trees and ecosystem services. A hands-on climate adaptation leader training arborists, municipal foresters, landscape architects, government regulators and others, he envisions an adaptive urban environment that supports health and conservation.

Steven leads by example on innovative public communication and integrating adaptation into his work. He is a founding member of the Southern Nursery Integrated Pest Management working group, a regional consortium of horticulturists, plant pathologists, and entomologists. In response to a member survey identifying ambrosia beetles as the most economically costly nursery pests, Steven developed a system to alert growers by Twitter when beetles are active, and created a targeted insecticide spray technique and tool to reduce insecticide use. These practices, along with his protocols for managing water stress, have transformed how growers manage ambrosia beetles throughout the US.

Steven’s passion for his work creates enthusiasm among his stakeholders about tree care and research based adaptation to climate change. He has built trust with stakeholders, municipal leaders and the general public because of his innate curiosity and willingness to listen to others, learn from them, and develop tools and techniques to help solve their problems. We are pleased to recognize Steven for his innovative integration of adaptation into his field. Congratulations, Steven!

Read more about our 2018 RALA Winners in California, the Great Lakes and Northeast. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped to make this a successful effort to recognize the adaptation champions in the field. Congratulations to everyone, and thank you for all that you do in the field of adaptation!

Resilient Boston Harbor

The plan to develop a climate resilient Boston Harbor in the City of Boston, Massachusetts offers strategies for Boston’s 47-mile shoreline that will increase access and open space along the waterfront while better protecting the city during a major flooding event. The plan focuses on green infrastructure and natural solutions to lowering the severity of sea level rise and flooding from climate change. “Resilient Boston Harbor” invests in Boston’s waterfront with a proposed restructuring of Fort Point Channel, and development of coastal protection from East Boston to the Dorchester shoreline.