Understanding and adapting to sea level rise is now a critical part of planning for the future. The Rising Seas Summit aims to bring professionals from all industries together to discuss the relationships between sea level rise, climate change, and extreme events. The summit will be held June 18-20, 2013, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by the Association of Climate Change Officers.
If you’re looking for additional help on difficult planning topics, look no further than the Planners Training Service workshops. Topics vary from innovative transportation planning to sustainable zoning and development controls and even include a workshop on planning for climate change to be held June 11-12 in Seattle, Washington. Book now!
There is a lot of buzz about climate adaptation, planning, and resilience. But who is actually implementing these strategies? And how well are these plans working? A new review of climate adaptation in the U.S. answers these questions and more. The review looked into existing and planned adaptation activities of federal, tribal, state, and local governments and the private sector.
Discussing climate change and sea level rise can often leave communities feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin. Don’t get stuck thinking about the enormity of the problem or arguing about climate change. Take action! The NOAA Coastal Services Center’s Doug Marcy explains what a community can do to get unstuck and to start planning for a future in which today’s flood is tomorrow’s high tide.
Sometimes the planning and work to prepare communities for climate change seems like an uphill battle, so it is good to know a majority of Americans support these efforts! A recent Stanford Woods Institute survey on climate adaptation found that not only did a majority of Americans want to prepare for global warming-induced sea level rise and storms, but they also wanted people whose properties and businesses were located in hazard-prone areas to foot the bill for this preparation.
Seaports are integral to the way of life in many countries, including the U.S. Protecting those seaports in the face of climate change is therefore imperative. The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility in Australia, through the Climate Resilient Seaports project, produced a collection of five reports that generate technical, policy, and operational recommendations for enhancing the resilience of seaports to a changing climate.
Join us to hear what the Digital Coast partners are doing in the Great Lakes. In the May 7 webinar, Jeff Stone, from the Association of State Floodplain Managers, will provide an overview of tools that communities can use to help prepare for climate change. Jeff will highlight the Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Planning Guide, a NOAA tool, as well as tools from other partners.
Doctoral and postdoctoral students interested in contributing scientific knowledge about the Sacramento/San Joaquin Bay-Delta have until May 20 to apply for the Delta Science Fellows Program through California Sea Grant. Proposals should address the 2013 priority topics from the Delta Plan policy areas. Applicants will be notified approximately July 19, with funds awarded in September 2013.
Travel north for the 11th International Symposium for GIS and Computer Cartography for Coastal Zone Management, CoastGIS 2013. This year’s symposium will be focused on monitoring and adapting to change on the coast. The conference is scheduled for June 18-21 in Victoria, British Columbia. Get there early and attend the International Coastal Atlas Network’s ICAN-6 workshop. The workshop will discuss how members can participate in the exchange of coastal and marine data and information with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. The workshop is free to attend.
So many elevation data resources, so little time. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you to find all elevation data in one place by partnering with the U.S. Geological Survey to create the U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory. If you need more information, check out the demo on YouTube highlighting the inventory’s application to Montana.
The list of tools that support coastal resource management is seemingly endless. How do you know which ones are right for your job? Now there’s a guide from the Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Tools Network and NatureServe, Tools for Coastal Climate Adaptation Planning, that provides the information coastal managers and planners need to select appropriate tools from a variety of sources, including the NOAA Coastal Services Center. The guide covers the coastal U.S., including the Great Lakes, and is highly applicable to many inland and international regions.
Chances are you or someone you work with uses lidar. It’s no wonder. Lidar is revolutionizing maps and geospatial data with its inexpensive technology, accuracy, and ability to map difficult terrain. A recent GCN article quotes Kirk Waters, a program manager at the NOAA Coastal Services Center, who agrees that lidar has many applications in coastal management.
StormCon, the North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition, is one of the premier stormwater pollution prevention conferences, and now there is another reason to attend. Forester Media has organized an additional symposium, Coastal Protection. This symposium focuses on infrastructure protection in coastal cities, ports, and industrial complexes in the face of sea level rise and potential shoreline changes. The conference will be held August 18-22, 2013, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with the Coastal Protection Symposium on August 23.
It’s not pretty to look at, for sure. But just how much does it cost municipalities to clean up trash and litter from local waterways and beaches? A new marine debris study attempts to answer that question. The Kier Associates study, which includes 90 large and small cities in California, Oregon, and Washington, says it costs $13 per resident, or more than $520 million a year to combat coastal litter.
Looking for the National Association of Counties’ annual conference? It has a new name—the 2013 County Solutions and Marketplace! The conference's agenda has been updated to allow even more opportunities for attendees to learn and engage with colleagues. The conference will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, July 19-22. Register today!
Understanding the significance and management requirements of coastal cliffs and lake bluffs in the face of human and climate change impacts is a major challenge. Luckily, there’s an international symposium to discuss these issues. Hosted by Liverpool Hope University, the Coastal Cliffs and Lake Bluffs Symposium will be held in Llandudno, North Wales, September 17-18, 2013. The paper submission deadline is March 31.
When will we be done mapping the entire nation’s flood risk areas? What would it cost and how long would it take to provide accurate flood mapping for every community in the nation? Once completed, what is the annual cost of maintaining and updating those maps in the future? These questions and more are answered in the Association of State Floodplain Managers’ recently released flood mapping report.
Hurricane Sandy left questions of vulnerability for residents in the Northeast. Now, New Jersey scientists are trying to answer those questions by predicting sea level rise and the ways in which rising seas could make future storms worse. Scientists at Rutgers University adapted the NOAA Coastal Services Center’s Sea Level Rise Viewer to create a satellite-based tool allowing users to zoom into street-level detail.
The National Weather Association is seeking abstracts for both oral and poster presentations for its Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held October 12-17, 2013, in Charleston, South Carolina, and will focus on “High Impact Weather Communications: Finding Calm in the Eye of the Storm.”
One thousand girls applied, but only 300 STEM women volunteered. Huffington Post is looking for women volunteers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to mentor the 700 girl deficit. This STEM mentorship program aims to help girls pursuing a career in one of the above fields. All geographies welcome.
Tampa Bay, Florida, is setting an example for coastal planners by working through various issues associated with sea level rise. Researchers at the University of Florida are working to answer questions about vulnerabilities and priorities in different sea level rise scenarios with the help of Digital Coast’s Sea Level Rise Viewer. The project also aims to help the Sea Level Rise Viewer team improve the tool to meet the needs of communities in their adaptation planning efforts.
If you’re not aware of all that the Digital Coast can do for you, check out what the Stormwater Editor’s Blog had to say. The blog highlighted the Sea Level Rise Viewer, as well as Coastal County Snapshots, and stated that Digital Coast as a whole was worth investigating if you live in a coastal community. Stormwater is a journal for surface water quality professionals.
Incorporating climate change considerations into your conservation efforts can seem daunting. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find many trusted resources for climate change in one place? That’s exactly what the Climate Change Toolkit offers. The Land Trust Alliance’s Coastal Conservation Networking partnership compiled its collective resources, making it easier for land trusts to learn, plan, adapt, and inspire other land trusts to prepare for climate change. The Coastal Conservation Networking partnership includes representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, The Nature Conservancy, and the Land Trust Alliance.
When hundreds of thousands of dead Atlantic menhaden washed up at Masonboro Island in Wilmington, the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) was quick to determine the cause. North Carolina NERR maintains one of NOAA’s System-Wide Monitoring Program monitoring stations in that area and was able to determine that the fish kill was caused by a significant drop in dissolved oxygen levels. Without the monitoring system, North Carolina NERR would not have been so fast to disseminate the information to the public and the media.
Minnesota Sea Grant is taking action to prepare for coastal storms, climate change, and excess stormwater. The agency recently hired three new staff members focused on those specific issues. Brent Schleck is the new coastal storms outreach coordinator, Hilarie Sorensen is the new climate change extension educator, and Cristina Villella is the new Minnesota GreenCorps member. These new positions could save communities time, money, and environmental headaches.
Join 2,000 elected and appointed county officials from across the country as they focus on legislative issues facing county government. As an attendee, you will hear from key federal administration officials and members of Congress, as well as experience additional education opportunities. The National Association of Counties’ annual Legislative Conference will be held in Washington, D.C., March 2-6.
America is more focused than ever on finding local energy sources and natural resource extraction. This focus creates major issues for communities, including economic, environmental, housing, and social challenges. In this webinar, learn how communities are planning for this new era of resource extraction and how they respond to new pressures on local resources. The American Planning Association (APA) webinar is February 13 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
If you work in the field of GIS, you need to stay on top of current GIS trends and topics. The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) will host its midyear meeting February 24-27, 2013, in Maryland to help you do just that. Topics include open data policy, a presentation from the National Emergency Management Association, Hurricane Sandy, and much more.
If you are a planner or have planning needs for your county or city, then don’t miss the annual meeting of the American Planning Association (APA), April 13-17, in Chicago, Illinois. There will be professional development sessions, networking opportunities, and the chance to explore Chicago. Topics include fiscal challenges and innovative solutions, meaningful green planning, resilient communities, and much more.
Concerned over how best to rebuild your community after Sandy? Wondering if, and how, you can ensure a resilient community? Take a look at how Connecticut is handling the situation through a blog post from Adam Whelchel, the director of science for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. Whelchel describes the steps Connecticut took before Sandy to determine areas of weakness and issues a call to action for the future.
Get prepared. Users now have the option to download the free Hawaii Tsunami Information Service App from iTunes or the Google Play Store. Developed by the NOAA Pacific Services Center, the app teaches users about tsunami warning signs and provides easy-to-understand evacuation maps, instructions, and information to help prepare for disaster.
Beautiful design, housing growth, and preservation can all win, according to a new publication from Preserve the Dunes, Inc. The 16-page booklet shows that it is possible to design HGTV-style houses that leverage the beauty of the dune landscape while preserving the dune ecosystem. The booklet lays out best practices for building in these areas based on results of a competition evaluated by both architectural judges and scientific experts.
Lost in a sea of resources for Sandy? Not sure which ones to trust? The American Planning Association’s recovery blog documents and collects Sandy recovery resources. The blog features FEMA advisories, newspaper articles, and other research to help those affected by Sandy recover and rebuild intelligently.
If your county has an innovative program that modernizes county government and increases services to county residents, you need to apply for the National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for national recognition. There are 21 different award categories, including environmental protection. Deadline for the application is February 21, 2013, at midnight.
Heard of the Digital Coast Partnership but not sure what it does? During a recent meeting, the partners discussed accomplishments all made possible through collaboration and the Digital Coast. The Association of State Floodplain Managers has been working on the Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Planning Guide. This guide uses data, tools, and case studies to help communities plan for coastal hazards and climate change. The Nature Conservancy has also been working in the Great Lakes creating case studies and a video to highlight climate change impacts. The National Association of Counties held workshops in Mississippi to share Digital Coast data and tools with coastal managers. All the partners have been working hard assisting Hurricane Sandy recovery. The American Planning Association compiled resources for those affected by Sandy on its website, while the National States Geographic Information Council is working to improve search and rescue maps for future disasters.
Deciding how to prioritize marshes that can reduce storm impacts can be difficult. What is the size of the marsh? What buildings or critical facilities are nearby? How many people live in the area? The Nature Conservancy provides some answers in its online interactive mapper for New York and Connecticut, which prioritizes where marshes can offer the greatest risk reduction benefits to people and property. And the tool provides decision makers with the opportunity to weigh which factors are most important to them. Check out the Marsh Explorer feature on the Coastal Resilience: New York and Connecticut mapper (LIS.CoastalResilience.org). The Marsh Explorer is a button located along the top menu bar of the application.
Curious how to best utilize lidar data? Not sure if there are more effective methods out there? Join the New England Chapter of URISA (the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) on December 13 from 2 to 3 p.m. (Eastern) for Municipal Uses of LiDAR. This webinar will focus on giving professionals skills to help make lidar less challenging.
Recent major storms hitting New York State, including Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, revealed major weaknesses in the state’s transportation, energy, communications, and health infrastructures. In a recent press release, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of three commissions to review and make specific recommendations to overhaul and improve the state’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities.
Don’t know where to start when beginning to plan for rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy? The Nature Conservancy’s Dr. Michael Beck discusses the risks and identifies solutions in rebuilding a more resilient future, which includes a critical role for marshes, dunes, and oyster reefs in risk reduction (blog post).
The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) continues its LIDAR Essentials educational series on December 10, 2012, with a webinar titled, Using LIDAR Data. This is the fourth of four webinars ASFPM is presenting in partnership with GeoCue Corporation to help users understand and specify the most important factors influencing flood map accuracy.
Rising sea levels and coastal population growth have your frustrations rising? Feeling overwhelmed by how to make national and international climate change data relevant for your local ecosystems? Learn about on-the-ground applications and tools to aid coastal managers with planning for climate change vulnerability in the Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network’s webinar on December 4 with Suzanne Langridge of the Natural Capital Project. Reserve your seat now.
Digital Coast products were highlighted in the October issue of Planning, the American Planning Association’s trade magazine. The article, “Coastal Data, Visualized,” focuses on tools that make using data easy to picture and use for coastal planning.
New York’s storm vulnerability was discussed in a talk given by Margaret Davidson, the acting director of NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, at the Oceans ’12 marine technology and engineering conference in October. Davidson focused on the importance of the coast and vulnerabilities that certain cities, such as New York City, face from the threat of large storms and sea level change. Watch the video.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) announced at the 77th Annual Conference and Exposition that Matthew D. Chase had been named the association’s executive director. Mr. Chase assumed the role on September 17, 2012, and will serve as the spokesman for NACo and America’s counties, advocate before federal policy makers, and promote counties and county issues to the media. Learn more.
The Center for Natural Resource Economics and Policy (CNREP) announces the second call for abstracts for CNREP 2013: Challenges of Natural Resource Economics and Policy, the 4th National Forum on Socioeconomic Research in Coastal Systems. The conference will be held March 24-26, 2013, in New Orleans and will focus on the opportunities and challenges of socioeconomic research in the development and evaluation of coastal resource restoration and management. The abstract deadline is November 12, 2012. Visit the website to learn more or to view the call for abstracts.
The Association of State Floodplain Managers released a call for presenters for its 2013 conference, Remembering the Past – Insuring the Future, June 9-14, 2013, in Hartford, Connecticut. This call for presenters looks for a broad range of professionals to address the many issues and problems associated with managing flood risk, reducing flood damages, making communities more sustainable, and protecting floodplains and fragile natural resources. Learn more.
Dr. James Morris, director of the Baruch Institute at the University of South Carolina, received the 2012 Merit Award from the Society of Wetland Scientists. The award recognizes his long-term research at the North Inlet–Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) on coastal wetlands’ response to sea level rise. The paper demonstrates for the first time a positive feedback between sea level rise, plant growth in salt marshes, and sedimentation rate. Learn more.
In March 2013, Washington Sea Grant, in coordination with Oregon Sea Grant, will sponsor the third national symposium on issues faced by working waterfronts throughout the United States. The symposium will focus on the issues related to increasing population in coastal areas across the country. Learn more about the symposium.
The first National Adaptation Forum will be held April 2-4 at the Denver Marriott City Center, Denver, Colorado, with the theme, “Action today for a better tomorrow.” Make sure to save the date and join NOAA as it works with adaptation practitioners and experts from around the country to focus on moving from adaptation planning to adaptation action. Learn more.
NOAA’s Coastal Services Center partnered with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission to study sea level rise impacts in the context of social equity, the economy, the environment, and governance. The study recently released the Vulnerability and Risk Assessment Report as part of the Adapting to Rising Tides project. Learn more about the report and the project.