Planning for Sea Level Rise

June 3, 2013 - 1:30pm - 3:00pmRegistration Closed
 Sea level rise poses widespread and continuing threats to both natural and built environments, particularly in the southeastern United States. Coastal adaptation is complex and requires careful planning that addresses multiple risks and includes a commitment to cross-sector engagement across diverse jurisdictional authorities. Speakers in this session will describe 1) key findings from the Southeast and Caribbean Chapter of the National Climate Assessment focusing on sea level rise threats and impacts; 2) tools and resources available through EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries program and how coastal managers can utilize this program to help develop their adaptation plans; and 3) the case study of a successful regional joint commitment - The Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact - to fostering sustainability and climate resilience - how it was started, how it is maintained and how it might apply to your region.
 Moderator: Linda Rimer, Region 4 Liaison to North and South Carolina, US Environmental Protection Agency
Please complete a 5 minute evaluation if you attended or watched any of the recordings.
 Lynne Carter, Associate Director and Program Manager, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) and Coastal Sustainability Studio at Louisiana State University
 Key findings from the National Climate Assessment Chapter: Southeast and the Caribbean
 Presentation: Slides MP4 File (17 minutes, 13.3 MB)
 Jennifer Jurado, Director, Broward County (FL) Natural Resources Planning and Management Division, Fort Lauderdale, FL
 The Southeast Florida Climate Change Compact: a regional partnership for climate change adaptation
 Presentation: Slides MP4 File (25 minutes, 17.9 MB)
 Michael Craghan, Lead, Climate Ready Estuaries Program, EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Washington, DC
 The EPA Climate Ready Estuaries Program: Planning for Sea Level Rise and Sustainability
 Presentation: Slides MP4 File (19 minutes, 11.6 MB)
 Question & Answer Recording: MP4 File (23 minutes, 13.7 MB)
 Follow Up Questions:
 Jennifer: In Florida there are several grass roots groups bubbling up addressing SLR. How can these groups partner with the Compact for a bottom up and top down approach?
 We are seeking to establish a more formal process to support collaborations with community organization and realize that these partnerships will be essential to effective implementation of the Compact's Regional Climate Action Plan and similar advancements across the State of Florida. We have a project manager - Ephrat Yovel - who is serving as the central point of contact and who will be working to organize a communication strategy to support these collaborations. Interested parties should contact Ephrat at
 What is the relationship between the four counties of SE Florida, which have been very progressive on climate change adaptation, and the state government, which has been noticeably lacking on climate change issues? Have the counties vocalized the need
 The Compact have been quite vocal about the need for more action at the state-level. We are working with several state and regional agencies in support of adaptation planning, including the South Florida Water Management District, the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and the South Florida Regional Planning Council. The DEO is actually taking the lead on a number of significant projects to support planning at the state level, including the convening of a resilience work group and technical support for various pilot projects. This February the Compact also supported a multi-county delegation meeting held in Tallahassee at the Capitol where we presented to Florida legislators information on the impact of sea level rise on infrastructure and the south Florida economy. We are hoping to have similar conversations with individual committees this next session. Finally, we continue to advocate for policies supporting adaptation priorities as part of our regional legislative program.
 What was the hardest part in developing agreed upon Sea Level Rise Projections for SE Florida? Any lessons learned from going through that process?
 The hardest part was probably the navigation of strongly-held opinions and personalities. We convened a group of local and regional experts as part of this process who poured of the body of peer-reviewed literature. I think the most challenging part of the process was in establishing the length of the timeline that would be used and how to account for uncertainty, and that certain reports were recognized to underestimate the extent of future sea level rise by failing to consider the influence of ice melt. Several of our counties had previously adopted projections that extended to 2100 but there were wide ranges between the predictions and the data sets used. The group ultimately came to agreement on using a short-term projection (2060) that reflected the USACE Guidance, and a higher level of certainly; this was deemed adequate for the planning horizon for local government decisions and investments in the next several years. The Work Group agreed to reserve the presentation of a longer-term projection (2100) until the issuance of the next IPCC report, with an opportunity to give critical review to the field of additional literature. The Work Group will reconvene in early 2014. For others who are considering going through this process, a facilitated discussion might be beneficial.
 I haven't seen many projects except the MIT study for S. Florida project or plan for relocation of human populations and infrastructure. Can speakers comment on their incorporation of this important CC adaptation action?
 There is not enough information here to include but I am assuming the question refers to the study led by JoAnn Carmin - Progress and Challenges in Urban Climate Change Adaptation planning - there are reports and even information in the popular press about Kivalina, Alaska where there is some commitment to moving the community. I put one of several links below.
Coastal Erosion and the Threat to Kivalina, Alaska
 Jennifer: has the South Florida region's insurance players begun to respond in policy or rates to the actions and policies you have incorporated?
 No, we have not seen a response, and it is unlikely that this information is new to the industry. In fact, the insurance industry appears to be well-informed as the risks and implications of climate change on the built environment and have issued several risk assessments and economic evaluations detailing these risks at the national and regional levels. These reports have also included strategies for mitigating for losses through low-cost options. As a region, we believe we will benefit by acknowledging current vulnerabilities and putting into place planning guidelines and pursuing adaptation projects that improve climate resilience and reduce losses, and that these investments will be reflected in our insurance rates and policies.
 How did they come to consensus on SLR projections?
 Please see response above.
 Have professional associations such as the American Planning Association or the Association of Climate Change Officials played a role in the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation activities?
 This was responded to during the discussion.

The Association of Climate Change Officers has been an important resource to the Compact and we have collaborated on a number of events. We have also partnered with APA, and the Broward Chapter on related initiatives, including the recent hosting of a Broward workshop with municipal planners to promote policies included in the County's recently adopted climate change element as part of our comprehensive plan. Session discussions focused on water resources, the built environment, transportation, and energy.

I wanted to add that the APA published a document: Planning for a new Climate and Energy Future by our own Scott Shuford
Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future

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