The City of Lewes, Delaware Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Action Plan

The City of Lewes, Delaware, in conjunction with Delaware Sea Grant and ICLEI ‐ Local Governments for Sustainability, initiated the pilot project 'Mitigation and Adaptation to Natural Hazards and Climate Change - Planning and Building Resilient Coastal Communities' (Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Pilot Project). The overall goal of the project was to further the City’s hazard mitigation work by incorporating climate change and adaptive responses. The project team developed this action plan that aims to improve community sustainability and resilience.

The plan identifies and details the natural hazards currently affecting Lewes, followed by an overview of regional climate change impacts. The next section of the plan addresses Lewes’ current and future vulnerability to natural hazards based upon self-assessments, including an inventory of critical facilities and roads at risk from flooding.

Local officials and residents of Lewes were engaged through a series of workshops to determine the City’s greatest existing and future vulnerabilities and to chart a course of action to reduce these vulnerabilities. These assessments resulted in the identification of two key vulnerabilities. The first is Lewes’ water system and the combined threats of saltwater intrusion into the aquifer and destruction of water conveyance systems that it faces from sea-level rise. The second vulnerability is the destructive impacts on homes and City infrastructure from increased flooding.  Based upon these two key vulnerabilities, an action selection process was developed which identified six actions presented in the form of recommendations, for the City to begin implementing.

The final section of the plan provides implementation guidance for the recommended actions - detailing each necessary step, participating agencies or stakeholders, budgeting, monitoring and communication needs.

The plan was developed with grant funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Publication Date: June 2011

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  • Adaptation plan
  • Plans (other)

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