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Coastal Flooding in the Northeast United States Due to Climate Change

December 2007

This report assesses the affects of sea level rise (SLR) on storm surge and flooding in the northeastern United States.   In this study, historical sea level information for storm surge anomalies at five sites in the region (from Massachusetts to New Jersey) was compiled and the impacts of climate change and local sea level effects were then added to this analysis. The change in recurrence intervals of storm surges due to possible SLR scenarios is estimated. Also, the study compares the boundaries of a 100-year coastal storm flooding event in Boston developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with the flooding boundaries of these estimated storm surges for 2005 and 2100 to further prepare for the potential social and economic impacts of climate change on coastal areas.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Chris Watson, Paul Kirshen, Ellen Douglas, Allen Gontz, Jawon Lee, Yong Tian

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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California Coastal Management with a Changing Climate

November 2008

This report examines the challenges California's coastal managers will face as a result of a changing climate, the adaptation tools available, and the extent to which federal, state, regional and local institutions are prepared for changing conditions. It demonstrates that climate change will reinforce the management tradeoffs that are already present, bringing new challenges to the balancing act between nature and coastal development.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Ellen Hanak, Georgina Moreno

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Future Sea Level Rise and the New Jersey Coast

June 2005

This study presents an assessment of potential impacts of sea level rise on the New Jersey coast.   Using historical flood data, digital elevation models, and climate change projections, the authors found that sea level rise will submerge 1-3% of coastal lands, and 6. 5-9% of coastal land will be affected by periodic flooding.   The study looks at Cape May Point as a case study for potential impacts on socioeconomic and natural resources that would be relevant to other coastal areas.   Finally, the authors broadly identify a gradual retreat strategy for adaptation.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Matthew J.P. Cooper, Michael D. Beevers, Michael Oppenheimer

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Texas 2019 Coastal Resiliency Master Plan

March 14, 2019

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.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New Hampshire SB 452: State agencies required to prepare for coastal flooding

June 13, 2016

New Hampshire SB 452 entitled: “Requiring certain state agencies to conduct an audit of laws governing coastal regions to enable authorities to take appropriate actions” is designed to help the state identify needs for improving resilience to climate impacts in coastal communities and Great Bay regions.  

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Southeast Florida Regional Compact: Climate Action Plan - 2014 Municipal Implementation Survey

December 2014

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), on behalf of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, has administered the Regional Climate Action Plan (RCAP) 2014 Municipal Implementation Survey, compiling climate-related ordinances, resolutions, regulations and administrative policy information from the 108 municipalities in Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties, Florida. The data collected from this survey will allow the Compact and ISC to create a database on the Compact’s official website highlighting municipal work in mitigating and adapting to climate change impacts, and will allow for peer-to-peer knowledge and resource sharing.

Author or Affiliated User: Ariel Elyse Moger

Resource Category: Monitoring and Reporting

 

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Surging Seas

2012

Surging Seas is an online portal to sea level rise analysis by Climate Central. The Surging Seas website presents a comprehensive view of sea level rise in a variety of formats through online resources and information - providing basic facts, news and updates, interactive maps, and an overview of responses to sea level rise nationwide.

Author or Affiliated User: Daniel Rizza

Resource Category: Adaptation Websites

 

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VIMS Recurrent Flooding Study for Tidewater Virginia

January 14, 2013

In March 2012, the Virginia Legislature passed House Joint Resolution No. 50, which directed the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) to study the impacts of recurrent flooding in Tidewater and the Eastern Shore, and to identify adaptation strategies. The Recurrent Flooding Study makes projections for recurrent flooding due to sea-level rise, storm surge, and heavy rainfall, addressing all localities in Virginia's coastal zone.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Molly Mitchell, Carl Hershner, Julie Herman, Dan Schatt, Pam Mason, Emily Eggington

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Louisiana Land Trust Resettlement Projects

In Louisiana, a state-created land trust is supporting floodplain buyouts and helping families relocate out of vulnerable flood-prone areas. The Louisiana Land Trust (LLT) was created in 2005 to support buyouts after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After more recent flood events, LLT expanded its role to help communities relocate to safer, higher ground areas. The land trust is helping to facilitate the resettlement of residents of the Pecan Acres subdivision in Pointe Coupee Parish and the Isle de Jean Charles community in Terrebonne Parish. The Pecan Acres subdivision is located in a lower-income neighborhood north of the City of New Roads, and has experienced repeated flooding 17 times over the past 20 years. LLT is working to help resettle approximately 40 households within the subdivision by acquiring their flood-prone properties, and supporting a development on higher ground where they can relocate. Isle de Jean Charles is a narrow island in South Terrebonne parish and is the home of the Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogees and United Houma Nation tribes. The island has lost 98% of its land mass since 1955 and many residents have left as a result of increasing flooding, where encroaching seas often flood the only roadway connecting the island to the mainland. With funding from the National Disaster Resilience Competition, the state is working to support implementation of a tribal resettlement plan. LLT acquired the resettlement site, about 40 miles north of the island that will be redeveloped. Eligible and participating families and individuals will be offered properties on the site with a five-year forgivable mortgage. Both the Pecan Acres and Isle de Jean Charles resettlement developments will incorporate resilient and green design features (including elevation about FEMA minimum standards, LEED certified construction, green infrastructure, and community amenities like parks) and will enable the residents to relocate together, maintaining social bonds and cohesion. This example demonstrates how land trusts can support efforts to relocate whole communities, and support development of sustainable and resilient receiving communities.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Woodbridge Township, New Jersey: Post-Hurricane Sandy Buyouts

July 15, 2020

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey is working with the New Jersey Blue Acres Program to implement a neighborhood-wide buyout that can serve as an example for other jurisdictions considering larger-scale retreat from coastal areas. Following significant damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Woodbridge applied to participate in the New Jersey Blue Acres Buyout Program. With the support of the state, local elected officials in Woodbridge, including the mayor, committed to a community-based approach and prioritized flood mitigation and future safety and emergency management benefits over potential tax base losses if residents relocated outside of the township. As a result of this approach and an extensive community engagement process, nearly 200 property owners accepted a buyout offer. Once structures are demolished, the township is restoring bought-out land to create a natural flood buffer. The township established an Open Space Conservation/Resiliency Zone to institutionalize protections for this area by prohibiting new development and discouraging redevelopment. Woodbridge’s example demonstrates how comprehensive, community-based approaches to buyouts can maximize long-term benefits for communities and the environment. Other local governments can consider partnering with their states and residents, among others, to use buyouts as a retreat strategy to make communities more resilient. This case study is one of 17 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas: Lessons and Tools from 17 Case Studies.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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