Blog Archive

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NOAA Sea Grant Initiates $1.2 Million Community Climate Change Adaptation Initiative

NOAA Sea Grant Initiates $1.2 Million Community Climate Change Adaptation Initiative

September 9, 2010
Sea-level rise has the potential to reshape the coastal environment.
Sea-level rise has the potential to reshape the coastal environment.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program has launched a one-time $1.2 million effort to help coastal communities prepare for the impacts of climate change. The initiative is supporting rapid response, community-based, climate adaptation demonstration projects in coastal and Great Lakes states. NOAA is providing $990,000, and universities and community partners are contributing $247,000 for this effort.
The Community Climate Change Adaptation Initiative represents a new approach, both in the scope and the number of communities it will address, to helping communities prepare for the effects of climate change. The demonstration projects will help communities develop strategies to address coastal inundation, sea-level rise, drought, more frequent and intense coastal storms, and other impacts associated with climate change.
Each university Sea Grant program has received $30,000 to conduct demonstration projects addressing coastal environmental changes anticipated as a result of climate change. The projects provide communities with credible, science-based information to help them consider alternatives, make informed decisions, and ultimately develop and implement customized solutions for local climate change impacts.
"Climate scientists, including many supported by Sea Grant, are finding increasing evidence of environmental changes induced by global climate change,” said Leon Cammen, director of the National Sea Grant College Program. “These changes threaten the economic and social well-being of coastal communities. Our aim is to enable communities to make well-informed decisions and adaptation plans.”
Extension and outreach specialists from Sea Grant universities are working with approximately 200 coastal communities through the demonstration projects. Most of the projects, which were proposed by local Sea Grant programs in partnership with the communities, are providing information and training in local hazard resiliency, and hazard mitigation tools, techniques, and best practices. They are expected to be complete by October 2010.
Sea Grant specialists will then continue working with a subset of the communities beyond October to adopt and implement sustainable economic and environmental development practices and policies relating to climate change adaptation.
“The scope of these projects covers communities ranging from small Pacific island fishing villages to major metropolitan areas such as Chicago and Los Angeles,” said Joshua Brown, manager of the initiative for the National Sea Grant College Program. “No one has really worked on climate adaptation in the United States on this fine a scale with this breadth of coverage. This represents a tangible commitment to provide climate adaptation resources on a local level.”

Demonstration Projects by Region

  • Maine Sea Grant – Climate change adaptation workshops in the Saco Bay region; development of an interactive web site on mitigating coastal hazards for property owners and communities; statewide coordination for organizations implementing community-based climate change adaptation efforts.
  • New Hampshire Sea Grant – Training workshop for local officials on climate change planning for 42 coastal watershed communities.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant – Development of a tool to assess sea-level rise in wetland areas, assess salt marsh buffering capacity and vulnerability to climate change impacts for Duxbury, Plymouth and Kingston.
  • Woods Hole Sea Grant – Development of a tool for three-dimensional visualization of sea-level rise impacts on Falmouth.
  • Connecticut Sea Grant – Demonstration rain gardens and training sessions to reduce storm water runoff anticipated due to increasing precipitation; Location Bridgeport.
  • Rhode Island Sea Grant – Creation of maps and on-line data display tools to identify sea level rise vulnerabilities of statewide assets including public property and infrastructure, as well as community threats, through a more detailed pilot demonstration.
  • New York Sea Grant – Climate change literacy training for Sea Grant extension agents and partner agency staff.
  • Lake Champlain Sea Grant – Storm water reduction demonstration sites in Rutland, Vt., and Williston, Vt., to show businesses, municipalities, and organizations how to manage expected increases in rainfall.
  • New Jersey Sea Grant – Coastal community resilience demonstration project for Little Silver, Oceanport, and Cape May Point; development of a tool to visualize sea-level rise and community workshops.
  • Delaware Sea Grant – Guidance for the City of Lewes on developing a mitigation and adaptation plan for climate change.
  • Maryland Sea Grant – Community meetings focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation for communities on the eastern and western shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Virginia Sea Grant –Climate change adaptation strategies for Middle Peninsula Counties, assistance to the town of Poquoson to incorporate water-level monitoring and analysis into community planning, and planning for resilience to sea-level rise in Hampton Roads.
  • Georgia Sea Grant – Workshops for local officials, developers, contractors, and residents of Glynn, McIntosh, and Camden counties on practical methods to mitigate climate change through conservation and onsite energy generation. 
  • North Carolina Sea Grant – Establish a community advisory committee to identify coastal vulnerability to sea level rise and develop adaptation strategy sessions for community leaders and residents; develop digitized maps with embedded coastal vulnerability data.
  • Puerto Rico – Assess vulnerability to climate change in Guanajibo, San Jose, el Mani, and el Seco; conduct workshops, develop evacuation plans.
  • South Carolina Sea Grant – Demonstration project for Charleston: develop maps and tools that overlay critical infrastructure and historic properties with scenarios of tidal flooding and sea level rise; analyze current city and hazard plans for vulnerabilities; and hold focus group meetings with planning staff.
Gulf of Mexico
  • Florida Sea Grant – Develop a visualization tool that will identify potential fiscal impacts of erosion and sea level rise in Wakulla County; Have follow-up discussions with local decision-makers and stakeholders to discuss potential impacts, and management options.
  • Louisiana Sea Grant – Workshops to teach local officials about the science behind climate change, expected impacts and planning; explore best options for delivering information on climate change.
  • Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant –Facilitate six-month planning process for climate adaption plans for Orange Beach, Ala., and Ocean Springs, Miss.
  • Texas Sea Grant – Develop and implement customized solutions to climate change challenges in five demonstration communities: LaPorte, Dickinson, League City, Texas City, and LaMarque.
Great Lakes
  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant – Develop management options beyond water conservation and use restriction to mitigate drought anticipated with climate change in northeastern Illinois; options include reservoirs and drought-resistant landscaping.
  • Michigan Sea Grant – Assess climate change impacts on storm water runoff; identify management strategies; engage local officials, and host conference in Spring Lake.
  • Minnesota Sea Grant – Assess needs for management of storm water runoff with Regional Storm Water Protection Team.
  • New York Sea Grant – Climate change literacy training for Sea Grant extension agents and partner agency staff.
  • Ohio Sea Grant – Develop a Great Lakes strategic plan for climate change training, outreach, and education in order to help unify the NOAA Sea Grant climate outreach efforts within the Great Lakes region.
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant – Conduct needs assessment workshops for Lake Superior and Lake Michigan coastal communities; results will direct future rapid response demonstration programs for climate change adaptation.
  • Pennsylvania Sea Grant – Develop comprehensive strategy for climate adaptation to identify vulnerabilities in Chester City, Eddystone Borough, Marcus Hook Borough, Ridley Township, Tinicum Township, City of Erie, and Millcreek Township.
West Coast
  • California Sea Grant – Development of software tool for visualizing wetlands and future areas of flooding from sea level rise in Ventura County.
  • Oregon Sea Grant – Workshops and surveys to assess public knowledge and perception of climate change in Port Orford and Tillamook County.
  • University of Southern California Sea Grant – Survey Los Angeles officials and planners; explore feasibility of incorporating climate change adaptation into planning documents.
  • Washington Sea Grant – Identify vulnerabilities to climate change and assess needs for adaptation in Port Angeles, and Clallam and Jefferson counties.
  • Alaska Sea Grant – Develop planning document that communities can use as a guide to plan and prepare for climate change. Hold community meeting to offer guidance to Scammon Bay area residents to develop specific measures for adapting to expected climate change impacts.
  • Guam Sea Grant – Develop simulation model and outreach materials for climate change impacts; conduct workshops on anticipated impacts in Guam coastal communities.
  • Hawaii Sea Grant – Develop a guide on state-wide climate change adaptation recommendations and strategies that communities can use to tailor climate adaptation plans to fit needs based on their location.
Sea Grant is a nationwide network of 32 university-based programs that work with coastal communities. The National Sea Grant College Program engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training, and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Find us on Facebook.

No comments: