Sponsor: The Nature Conservancy
Summary: Adaptation to coastal hazards has traditionally been undertaken using shoreline hardening and engineered defenses. Alternative approaches to building infrastructure, such as ecosystem-based adaptation, are necessary as part of an overall strategy for creating resilient human communities in the face of climate change. Coastal Resilience was developed to help practitioners and stakeholders understand how they can make informed decisions about marine and coastal conservation, land protection, and coastal development, and implement ecosystem-based adaptation strategies. Coastal Resilience helps users visualize future conditions so they can design, build, and discuss alternative future scenarios that address sea level rise, storm surge, social and ecological vulnerability, and conservation priorities.
How it works: The Coastal Resilience project delivers geospatial information on coastal ecosystems, socioeconomics, community vulnerability, and coastal hazards (including sea level rise and storm surge) via an internet mapping application that is a data viewer, data discovery tool, and a future scenario mapper. Coastal Resilience also includes a summary tool for calculating economic and ecological loss in specific geographies within the study area given different future scenarios. Coastal Resilience provides decision support to local decision-makers who are conducting their own comprehensive or post-storm redevelopment plans, and serves as an educational tool to inform stakeholders on the risks of sea level rise and storm surge.
Application: Coastal Resilience has been used for data exploration with the New York State Emergency Management Office, and local towns and villages on Long Island and the Connecticut shores interested in including this information as part of their comprehensive plans.