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Managing the Retreat from Rising Seas — Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland: Blackwater 2100

2013

In 2013, The Conservation Fund, National Audubon Society, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered to produce a “salt marsh persistence” report for Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) titled Blackwater 2100 to address marsh migration in response to sea-level rise and tidal erosion. The objectives of the report are to identify areas of current tidal marsh most resilient to sea-level rise and of the highest value to salt marsh bird species as well as future locations that may support marsh migration corridors. The report’s authors utilized several tools, including the Sea-Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM), to select one of three different adaptation strategies for wetland areas within Blackwater NWR to create a comprehensive management plan. The three adaptation strategies include: (1) in-place restoration actions targeted at improving existing tidal marsh health and productivity; (2) strategic conservation in priority marsh migration corridors; and (3) actions supporting the transition of uplands into marsh. Blackwater 2100 can provide a useful example for natural resources, open space, and coastal managers to plan for minimizing coastal habitat loss due to sea-level rise by evaluating the tradeoffs of different adaptation strategies; and building partnerships with stakeholder groups and the community to examine marsh migration on an ecosystem scale that necessitates public and private land acquisitions and involvement. 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.

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City of Virginia Beach - Nature-Based Coastal Flood Mitigation Strategies

May 16, 2019

The City of Virginia Beach, Virginia commissioned this study to identify and assess opportunities for including natural and nature-based coastal flood mitigation strategies among the measures that the City can adopt to increase resilience and decrease flood risk in Virginia Beach. The study evaluated a range of natural and nature-based features (NNBF) - including beach nourishment and dune enhancement, marsh creation and restoration, living shorelines, and more - for feasibility given the unique flooding issues in the four different watersheds of the region.

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Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project

2019

The Hudson River Sustainable Shorelines Project developed science-based recommendations for shore zone management along the Hudson River in eastern New York. The Project and recommendations are focused on natural and nature-based shoreline protection against storm surge and sea level rise. Landowners, land managers, engineers, and other decision-makers can find guidance on permitting, natural shoreline engineering and design, and best management practices to meet adaptation needs (eg. flooding and erosion protection) while enhancing ecological functions of the Hudson’s shorelines.

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Building Gulf Coast Resilience - Opportunities After Deepwater Horizon

August 1, 2018

From the Georgetown Climate Center, this report presents recommendations for enhancing Gulf Coast resilience as state and federal agencies implement projects to restore ecosystems affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Over 134 million gallons of crude oil was released into the Gulf of Mexico affecting 1,300 miles of coastline from Texas to Florida. Over the next 15 years, more than $20 billion will flow to the region for projects to restore ecosystems and economies affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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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California Coastal Commission DRAFT Coastal Adaptation Planning Guidance: Residential Development

March 2018

In March 2018, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) released Draft Coastal Adaptation Guidance for Residential Development (Draft Guidance) to provide local governments sea-level rise adaptation strategies and example legal and policy tools for residential development. CCC is an independent, quasi-judicial state agency that exercises oversight for activities affecting California’s coast. Through the Draft Guidance, CCC seeks to provide state and local decisionmakers with tools to address the complexities associated with coastal land uses across approaches to residential development that are compounded by variation in the physical environment. Specifically, the Draft Guidance offers a range of legal and policy tools to help facilitate local planning for resilient shorelines and protect coastal resources, including through potential managed retreat strategies. The guidance explores the advantages and disadvantages of many adaptation options, and offers model policy language that could be used to implement best practices. The guidance and model policy language examples may be useful for other coastal jurisdictions planning for or regulating the impacts of sea-level rise on development as the language can be customized and adapted to specific situations and contexts. This guidance can assist coastal managers, local governments, and planners to address climate impacts within their jurisdictions and improve the resiliency of their coastlines and communities.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Maine Flood Resilience Checklist

August 2017

The Maine Flood Resilience Checklist is a non-regulatory self-assessment tool that allows coastal and inland communities of all sizes to evaluate their vulnerability to flooding and sea level rise, examine areas where current policy and action could use improvements to better address the vulnerabilities, and identify specific strategies and actions to enhance flood resilience. The Checklist is designed to be completed through an interdepartmental, facilitated discussion between decision-makers and key municipal planning, management, emergency and enforcement staff.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Green Infrastructure Techniques for Resilience of the Oregon Coast Highway

October 2017

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) green infrastructure solutions for resilience documented in this report are the result of a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sponsored pilot project. ODOT analyzed how green infrastructure can help protect the Oregon Coast Highway (US 101) from the impacts of extreme storms and coastal bluff erosion. Through this study ODOT explored the use of nature-based design solutions to protect coastal transportation infrastructure from these climate enhanced impacts.

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Coast Resilience Solutions for East Boston and Charlestown, Massachusetts

October 2017

East Boston and Charlestown, Massachusetts are coastal communities that face significant vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding. Created with the support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Barr Foundation, this report describes local climate risks, and provides short- and long-term resilience strategies for these areas. This is the first neighborhood coastal resilience plan to be implemented from the Climate Ready Boston plan and initiative.

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Bayside Adapts Initiative - Portland, Maine

2017

The City of Portland, Maine created the Bayside Adapts initiative to work with community members and organizations to adapt the Bayside neighborhood of downtown Portland to climate change impacts. The initiative includes two completed projects - the Bayside Adapts Design Challenge and the Sewer and Stormwater System Data Gap Analysis - which address the impacts of sea level rise, storm surges, and increased intense rainfall events in Bayside.

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