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Beyond Unintended Consequences: Adaptation for Gulf Coast Resiliency and Sustainability

2012

“Beyond Unintended Consequences" is the final report of the America's WETLAND Foundation's Blue Ribbon Resilient Communities: Envisioning the Future of America's Energy Coast Initiative. The report offers 30 recommendations for adapting to the impacts of climate change to achieve resiliency and sustainability in the Gulf Coast region. 

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities

August 2011

In this report the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has compiled local and regional research findings about the water-related impacts of climate change in 12 U. S. cities. NRDC examined more than 75 scientific studies, as well as data and reports generated by government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The report makes clear that some of the most profound effects of climate change are water-related, such as sea-level rise, increased rain and storms, flooding, and drought, and that these kinds of events are likely to increase in the coming years as a result of climate change.

Authors or Affiliated Users: Mark Dorfman, Michelle Mehta, Ben Chou, Steve Fleischli, Kirsten Sinclair Rosselot

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Analysis of Coastal Climate Adaptation Strategies for Southeast U.S. Coastal Cities

April 25, 2008

This Master’s project identifies primary and secondary climate change impacts to coastal areas of the Southeast U.S.  The author proposes three resiliency criteria and applies this decision-making framework as a means of evaluating potential adaptation response strategies for sea-level rise. These criteria include adequate adaptive capacity, environmental sustainability, and the win-win nature of the adaptive measures.

Author or Affiliated User: Ulla-Brott O. Reeves

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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The Resilient Coast: Policy Frameworks for Adapting the Built Environment to Climate Change and Growth in Coastal Areas of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico

August 2007

This report assesses policies and governance structures to mitigate hazards on the U. S. Gulf Coast, and makes recommendations for coastal communities to adapt to the impacts they will face due to climate change. Existing federal and state frameworks for coastal land use and hazard mitigation planning in the Gulf are explored. The strengths and weaknesses of federal laws (including the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act and the National Flood Insurance Program), as well as state and local planning authorities in the Gulf states, are presented.

Authors or Affiliated Users: John S. Jacob, Stephanie Showalter

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Using Climate Forecasts for Drought Management

January 2006

This report synthesizes a 4-year study of the use of the climate forecasts for drought management in the state of Georgia. The study investigates the needs and potential benefits of seasonal forecast information for water management. It provides a method for translating NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) seasonal precipitation outlooks into a forecast precipitation index (FPI) that is tailored for water managers in the southeastern United States. This case study is also beneficial, as it represents the integration of climate forecasts into decision-making procedures for a public agency, and provides the economic valuation of that forecast information.

Author or Affiliated User: Anne C. Steinemann

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Gulf of Mexico Climate Change Adaptation Inventory

June 24, 2011

The Climate Change Adaptation Inventory is a compilation of climate adaptation activities and research initiatives taking place at the federal, state, and local levels in communities adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The inventory focuses specifically on those projects and efforts that address climate change or sea level rise. Research activities captured by the inventory are limited to those projects that have applications to coastal communities, particularly planning and development, land management, and socioeconomic initiatives.

Resource Category: Solutions

 

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Louisiana Climate Action Plan

February 1, 2022

On February 1, 2022, Louisiana’s Climate Initiatives Task Force released the state’s first Climate Action Plan. In the plan, the task force notes that “Louisiana is among the most vulnerable states in the United States to the impacts of climate change” and poor air quality, repetitive flooding events, and extreme heat are impacting the state’s ability to be resilient. Although the Climate Action Plan is primarily intended to guide climate mitigation efforts in Louisiana, the task force recommends 28 strategies and 84 actions the state can take to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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New Orleans, Louisiana Zika virus response

April 2016

In 2016, when the risk of Zika virus in the United States became higher, the mayor of New Orleans brought together public and private partners to proactively manage those risks and protect the city’s most vulnerable residents. By activating the local public health department, the Board of mosquito control, local physicians, environmental experts, and community members, the government was able to create a comprehensive Zika response plan to protect the public, especially pregnant women. In the first phase, partners educated the public on risks and mitigation strategies, especially healthcare providers and facilities. The city also stepped up vector control to reduce risk and surveillance of mosquito populations to ensure effectiveness. This combination of efforts was intended to ensure that Phases 2 and 3 of the Plan (activated in the case of reported cases of Zika) would be delayed or unnecessary due to preventive measures. By focusing education efforts for the public and healthcare entities on the risk to the most vulnerable subgroup of residents, the partners could ensure that pregnant women would be well-protected. The efforts were funded by general public health funding streams.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Resilient Jean Lafitte, Louisiana - A Flood Emergency Preparedness Plan

2016

The Town of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana sits at or below sea level on the Gulf of Mexico and is highly vulnerable to extreme flooding from storm events, while economically dependent on maritime industries. Their Flood Emergency Preparedness Plan (FEPP) presents flood risk reduction recommendations in response to the compounding impacts of hurricanes, storm surge, coastal erosion, subsidence, sea level rise, and climate change.  The FEPP's flood risk reduction initiatives were heavily informed by the 2013 Town Resiliency Plan “Jean Lafitte Tomorrow.

Resource Category: Planning

 

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Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) Adaptation Strategies

May 2019

Louisiana Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments (LA SAFE) is a community-based planning and capital investment process that will help the state fund and implement several projects, including for managed retreat, to make its coasts more resilient. In 2016, Louisiana’s Office for Community Development–Disaster Recovery Unit received a nearly $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the National Disaster Resilience Competition and additional state and nongovernmental funds to implement LA SAFE. The grant will support the design and implementation of ten resilience projects to address impacts in six coastal parishes that were affected by Hurricane Isaac in 2012 (Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Terrebonne). Building on LA SAFE’s community-driven framework for adaptation and the ten state-funded projects, the state is continuing to work with the six parishes to mainstream and institutionalize adaptation and resilience at both the regional and parish levels. In May 2019, the state released a regional adaptation strategy and six parish-level strategies to support long-term adaptation planning. Each strategy follows LA SAFE’s framework for identifying projects to meet different adaptation and development goals based on flood risk to ensure that future regional and local projects are similarly designed to advance comprehensive approaches. These strategies will assist the parishes to develop and invest in additional projects that will be more resilient to coastal impacts over the state's 50-year planning horizon and achieve multiple benefits for communities. These strategies can serve as an example for other state, regional, and local jurisdictions considering long-term, comprehensive planning for adaptation and managed retreat. 

 

Resource Category: Planning

 

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