Coastal zones, broadly defined as the region within 200 miles from coast, are where 75% of the world’s population lives. These regions include nearly all of the most populated cities in the world (New York City, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Miami, Tampa, Washington D.C., Mexico City, etc.) and the entire state of Florida; and are faced with multiple potential hazards which threaten coastal sustainability, including natural hazards (e.g. tropical cyclones, tornados, storm surge, tsunami, coastal inundation, beach erosion, climate change, and sea level rise) and anthropogenic hazards (e.g. harmful algal bloom, oil/gas spill, and CBRN spills).
Twenty years ago, Category-5 Hurricane Andrew caused catastrophic damage to South Florida’s coastal zones. Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans in 2005. Now, coastal inundation poses paramount risk to coastal community and coastal environment throughout Florida and the Southeast, due to the combined threats of hurricane, storm surge, tsunami, climate change, and sea level rise. Recently Hurricane Sandy brought extreme winds and flooding, resulting in more than $20B damage in New Jersey and New York. Science-based coastal hazard planning and preparation tools are urgently needed to protect the coastal community and coastal environment from economic disasters and to save lives.
Government policies need to be made more efficient and effective to protect the coastal communities from various coastal hazards. Community based approach is needed to bring together partners in coastal hazards (federal government, state government, coastal communities, insurance business, and academics) to share recent advances in their hazard related activities to develop efficient and effective ways to enhance coastal hazard planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, and restoration. To serve the needs of coastal communities, it is essential to speed up the transfer of research results to application towards the goal of building a more resilient and sustainable coastal (both built and natural) environment throughout the U.S.
The purpose of this summit is three-fold:
- to bring together federal agencies, state agencies, researchers, insurance and other businesses, and coastal communities to share the latest advances in coastal hazard research and planning/preparation/mitigation/response activities;
- to explore ways to apply the latest findings and products in coastal hazard research to assist stakeholders planning activities;
- to identify critical research needs to enhance the stakeholders continued planning and preparation effort for a hazard resilient and resource sustainable coast.
This summit will focus on four types of coastal hazards, including hurricane wind hazard, hurricane surge and flood hazard, environmental hazard (oil spill, harmful algal bloom, and fish die-off), and climate change and sea level rise impact.
Goals and Outcomes
The initial goal of this summit is to enhance the communication between federal agencies which fund coastal hazard research and develop products, coastal hazard researchers, and stakeholders (state agency and local communities) which use the research results and products for coastal hazard planning and preparation; and to develop a continued working relationship among the various entities to enhance the hazard resiliency of coastal communities and the sustainability of coastal environment and infrastructures. The summit will:
- Form cross-cutting working groups to develop recommendations;
- Provide recommendations on how to enhance the application of research advances to local and regional planning and preparation efforts;
- Develop ways to enhance communications across the “network” of coastal hazards community including planning, response, mitigation, and research.
- Enable development of efficient and effective policies with regard to coastal hazards;
- Identify critical research needs towards developing a resilient and sustainable coast; and
- Develop a report summarizing the above.
The two day summit will include participation by 120 planners, emergency and resource managers, coastal communities, federal and state agencies, businesses, researchers, and the public. This summit will include a plenary session, panel discussions, and facilitated working groups that produce recommendations for presentation to the group.
During the first day, there will be four panel sessions (two in the morning and two in the afternoon):Wind Hazard, Flood Hazard, Environmental Hazard, and Climate Change and Sea Level Rise. Each session will have five people representing federal agency, state agency, academic, business, and coastal community. Panel members will give brief presentations followed by audience discussion.
During the evening of the first day, there will be a poster session to allow researchers and stakeholders to present latest coastal hazard research results, decision support systems (e.g., Wind Hazard Maps,Building Loss Estimation Tools, Base Flood Elevations, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, Storm Surge Atlas),current best practice in coastal hazard planning and preparation, coastal hazard policies, case studies,etc.
During the second day, there will be World Café style discussions to try to develop creative approaches to promote more efficient and effective preparation, planning, mitigation, response, and restoration of the four types of coastal hazards: wind hazard, flood hazard, environmental hazard, and climate change and sea level rise. Again, two hazards will be addressed in the morning and two in the afternoon.
Proposed Panel Session Topics - Day 1
- Hurricane Wind Hazard
- Hurricane Surge and Flood Hazard
- Environmental Hazards - Oil Spill, Harmful Algal Bloom, Hypoxia, Fish Die-off
- Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
Poster Paper Topics - Day 1
- Latest Research Findings in Coastal Hazard Topics
- Development, Application, and Evaluation of Decision Support Systems
- Wind Hazard Maps, Building Loss Estimation Tools
- Base Flood Elevations, Flood Insurance Rate Maps, Storm Surge Atlas
- Oil Spill Models
- Forecasting Systems of Coastal Hazards
- Current best practice in coastal hazard planning, preparation, mitigation, and response
- Coastal hazard policies
- Case studies
Proposed World Café Discussion Topics – Day 2
Sample questions such as:
- What information/products/tools do we use for planning and preparation?
- Are the information/products/tools adequate?
- How can the information/products/tools be improved?
- What are the needs for new research in coastal hazards?
- How can we improve collaboration among federal agencies, state agencies, coastal communities, insurance and other businesses, as well as academic institutions?
- How can we enable effective and efficient coastal hazard planning, preparedness,mitigation, response, and restoration?