Creative responses to New York’s coastal concerns

Living breakwaters by SCAPE studioI just came across this exciting article on Grist — 5 new ways New York can deal with storm surges and rising seas — published on May 09, 2014 by Amber Cortes. It lists a few top projects submitted to Rebuild by Design competition, established by Hurricane Sandy Task Force and  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Interestingly, in comments on  proposed Jersey Shore Makeover project, author suggests a LOW feasibility as “the hitch with this plan is that in order to restore some of these ecosystems, some people are going to have to get the hell out – the polite term is actually “managed retreat.” Administrations tend to view managed retreat as their last option, since they associate it with giving up. And, asking people to give up their beachfront properties even in the face of more storms will be difficult, if not impossible.”

 

Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: Lessons from Sandy

This April, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy published a Policy Focus Report, authored by Robert Pirani and Laura Tolkoff, on Lessons from Sandy: Federal Policies to Build Climate Resilient Coastal Regions. The report offers specific policy recommendations to federal agencies on how to optimally support  adaptation and resilience-building efforts of coastal communities and regions. The key proposed measures include:

  • Reflecting anticipated climate change impacts in recovery/rebuilding decisions;
  • Coordinating efforts for restoration and maintenance of healthy coastal resources;
  • Supporting sustainable urban patterns; and
  • Developing and disseminating relevant information.

 

 

Proceedings from the Congress on Coastal Resilience and Risk

Renewable Resources ReportThis past December (11-12, 2013) I had an opportunity to attend the Congress on Coastal Resilience and Risk organized by Renewable Natural Resources Foundation in the new NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, College Park, Maryland. The purpose of this meeting was to facilitate  dialogue on the future of   U.S. coasts, as well as discuss what is needed to successfully implement mitigation and adaptation strategies to protect coastal communities. The report is available at: Report on Coastal Resilience and Risk

 

Mobility, vulnerability and socio-economic transformations in Bolivia, Senegal

Recently published paper titled Not only climate change: mobility, vulnerability and socio-economic transformations in environmentally fragile areas of Bolivia, Senegal and Tanzania by Cecilia Tacoli (2011) argues that “migration is better defined as an adaptive response to socioeconomic, cultural, political and environmental transformations, in most instances closely linked to the need to diversify income sources and reduce dependence on natural resources. Drawing on case studies in Bolivia, Senegal and Tanzania, it  describes how environmental change at the local level interacts with other factors to shape migration patterns, and how such patterns in turn affect the livelihoods and resilience of individuals, households and communities in areas experiencing the impacts of climate change in the form of desertification, soil degradation, disrupted rainfall patterns and changes in temperature.”

Accommodating Migration to Promote Adaptation to Climate Change

commodating Migration to Promote Adaptation to Climate ChangeCommission on Climate Change and Development published in March  2009 a report Accommodating Migration to Promote Adaptation to Climate Changethat talks about climate change and migration (authors Jon Barnett and Michael Webber).  It explains the ways in which climate change may increase future migration, and the risks associated with such migration. It also examines the way some of the migration that will arise from climate change may enhance the capacity of communities to adapt to climate change. The authors suggest that the serious risks arising from migration exacerbated by climate change can be avoided through careful policy. The report describes some policy responses that could minimize the risks associated with migration in response to climate change, and to maximize the ways in which migration can increase adaptive capacity.

Sea level rise and the future of the Bay Area

The following links provide articles about the sea-level rise published by SPUR – nonprofit organization that promotes good planning and governance in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco Bay and Development Commission already expressed their concerns with the sea level rise in the Living with a Rising Bay: Vulnerability and Adaptation in San Francisco Bay and on its Shoreline report from 2009, that discusses similar concerns and adaptation strategies for confronting anticipated climate change impacts and sea-level rise in the Bay. 

Sea level rise and the future of the Bay Area

Strategies for managing sea level rise

The photo from the article shows a hotel in Isle of Palms, South Carolina in attempt to keep the encroaching seas out with mounds of sea bags. (image retrieved from Panoramio)

Isle of Palms

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