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Building Resilience to Coastal Hazards and Climate Change in Hawaii

April 2019

From May 2016 until April 2019, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Office of Planning partnered with the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program to create three tools that support adaptation at the local level: an interactive data mapthe Hawaii Sea-Level Rise Viewer, and two guidance documentsIntegrating Coastal Hazards and Sea-Level Rise Resilience in Community Planning and Guidance for Disaster Recovery Preparedness in Hawaii. Much of Hawaii’s population and development exist on low-lying coastal plains that are vulnerable to erosion, flooding, and inundation. Building on the state’s 2017 Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, the complementary tools are aimed at helping communities better prepare for future sea-level rise and other climate change impacts.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Tehama, California Elevating Homes

The City of Tehama, California is working to protect vulnerable residents from flooding through elevation of their homes. Tehama is adjacent to the Sacramento River in the northern Central Valley and has endured several floods over the years. As climate change is anticipated to increase the potential for flooding in this area, residents are at a greater risk of losing their homes to flooding. Many of the residents are unable to pay for the cost of elevating their homes, prompting the city to patch together non-municipal funding sources to substantially reduce residents’ costs. The majority of the cost was covered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) through Section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board. The remaining 10% of the cost could be covered by funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) program for low income residents. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Financing resilient communities and coastlines: How environmental impact bonds can accelerate wetland restoration in Louisiana and beyond

August 20, 2018

The Environmental Defense Fund and Quantified Ventures have assessed how an environmental impact bond (EIB) could effectively be used for coastal resilience financing for wetland restoration in Louisiana and other coastal areas. The report outlines the steps Louisiana would take to pilot and implement the EIB to restore the coast and wetlands, while greatly reducing land loss to sea level rise, and incentivizing investment. The framework could also support financing other natural infrastructure projects that build coastal resiliency, and serves as a template for coastal investments anywhere.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — State of New Jersey: Blue Acres Buyout Program

July 15, 2020

The New Jersey Blue Acres Buyout Program is a nationally recognized example of a longstanding, state-run buyout program. Blue Acres works closely with municipalities throughout the state to identify privately owned properties that are routinely threatened or flooded due to sea-level rise and more frequent weather events. The program works directly with local governments to prioritize comprehensive buyouts of affected neighborhoods, instead of individual properties, and restores and protects the properties to maximize the flood and cost-reduction benefits for communities and the environment. To accomplish effective state-local coordination, the program has a diversified staff that meets local needs including case workers who work directly with participants in each buyout area, and a financial team that negotiates mortgage forgiveness with banks and other financial lenders on behalf of homeowners. As climate change worsens and makes extreme weather events more common, other states and local governments may increasingly evaluate the potential for buyouts, particularly in coastal jurisdictions. Decisionmakers could consider institutionalizing buyouts as a part of comprehensive climate adaptation and coastal and floodplain management strategies to encourage neighborhoods to relocate to safer, higher ground areas and restore ecosystems to attain flood, natural resources, and other community benefits.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund

April 20, 2016

In 2016, the Commonwealth of Virginia established the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund (Virginia Code § 10. 1-603. 25), a revolving loan fund for local governments to "help residents and businesses that are subject to recurrent flooding as confirmed by a locality-certified floodplain manager. " The fund is administered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. This Fund was amended and supplanted in 2020 by a broader version of the law, the Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Impacts of Global Warming on North Carolina's Coastal Economy

June 21, 2007

A scientific study was undertaken by researchers at four North Carolina universities to consider three aspects of the state's coastal economy and their vulnerability to a changing climate including: the impacts of sea-level rise on the coastal real estate market, the impacts of sea-level rise on coastal recreation and tourism, and the impacts of stronger tropical storms and hurricanes on business activity. The study used a range of moderate  assumptions, not best- or worst-case scenarios. This brief summary brochure is designed to present the main findings of the study for the benefit of the public and policy makers.

Resource Category: Assessments

 

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Washington Coastal Resilience Project

2019

The Washington Coastal Resilience Project (WCRP), a partnership between the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group, Washington Sea Grant, the Department of Ecology, the Nature Conservancy, and others, produced resources and tools to increase the capacity of communities in Washington state to prepare for sea-level rise. The materials generated through the project include featured data visualizations, tutorials, and guidelines for planning, all of which are designed to better enable the integration of sea-level rise into local planning and investment decisions.

Resource Category: Data and tools

 

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Florida Senate Resolution 1572

March 5, 2020

On March 5, 2020, the Florida Senate passed a resolution expressing its support for adopting policies to prepare the state for climate change impacts, such as sea-level rise and flooding. In the resolution, the senate also recognizes the importance of resilient infrastructure in “fortifying” the state from those impacts.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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Florida Senate Bill 178: An Act Relating to Public Financing of Construction Projects

March 11, 2020 (effective July 1, 2021)

On March 11, 2020, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 178 (Florida Statute § 161. 551) that establishes new rules and enforcement mechanisms for state-financed coastal construction projects. According to the law, “state-financed constructors” are public entities that manage or commission “a construction project using funds appropriated from the state. ” The purpose of the law is to ensure that (1) projects funded by public monies can better withstand coastal flooding and will not exacerbate flooding impacts on surrounding communities; and (2) project managers consider all design options and alternatives in the face of sea-level rise.

Resource Category: Law and Governance

 

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The Cathedral Engulfed: Sea-level Rise, Property Rights, and Time

2012

Sea-level rise will require many new initiatives in land use regulation to adapt to unprecedented climate conditions. Such government actions will prompt regulatory and other takings claims, and also will be shaped by apprehension of such claims.

Author or Affiliated User: J. Peter Byrne

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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