News from Our Partners

APA Division

New Planning Division Focuses on Hazard Mitigation and Planning

The American Planning Association approved the formation of a new division within the larger organization. The Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division is a community of professionals all focused on hazard mitigation that offers possibilities to discuss ideas and contribute to national policy work. The association believes there is a logical connection between the planning work they have done in the past and this sort of disaster preparation planning. In recent years, planners have noticed that mitigation and recovery are enhanced when linked to the community’s comprehensive plan. This division will aim for more of those linkages.

 Beach Renourishment

How to Value Your Community’s Beaches

Oftentimes, small communities do not have the resources to do involved economic valuations of their local beaches. Without an accurate value, it can be difficult to persuade stakeholders to support maintaining these areas. However, a director emeritus of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineer Research and Development Center believes there’s a way. The paper, published in Shore & Beach journal, used Folly Beach, South Carolina, as an example of an area with a small amount of tourism and a strong need for economic valuation. This process allows the community to make estimates of tourist spending, jobs, taxes, and the recreational and ecological values of its beaches.

Great Changes Taking Place in Great Lakes Land Use

Michigan Radio highlighted a NOAA Land Cover Change report summarizing land use changes in the Great Lakes region from 1996 to 2010. During this period, more than 7,000 square miles of land changed in some way, an area roughly equivalent to the surface area of Lake Ontario. While most of the development changes took place around major cities, forestland also suffered a net loss.

Quantifying the Ocean’s Wealth

Oceans provide a variety of services, but a majority of those services do not hold distinct values. The Mapping Ocean Wealth team aims to quantify these ecosystem services and make the information available for use in public policy. The team is using existing ecosystem service studies and making them into spatially explicit maps and models.

Webby Awards

Vote for U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit in the 2015 Webby Award “Green” Category

The toolkit is a joint effort between a variety of NOAA offices to compile data, tools, and resources to build resilience. The website is in the running for the web's highest award against some stiff competition. Show your support by casting a vote and spreading the word. It takes only a few minutes to register, vote, and verify.

Time to Get Prepared: April Is Tsunami Awareness Month

Tsunamis can happen any time of the year—however, each April the Pacific Islands region takes the time to make sure residents are prepared. Resources are shared, events are held, and everyone ends the month knowing more about these disasters. For Hawaii and Guam residents, NOAA’s Tsunami Information Service shows users whether or not they are located in an evacuation zone. Download the app from Google Play or iTunes for Hawaii information.

Join NOAA in the Pacific at these events (Hawaii-Aleutian Time):

  • April 1, 9:00 a.m. – Governor’s Proclamation at Lanikai Elementary
  • April 1, 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Tsunami Walk at Joint Base Pearl Harbor
  • April 11 – Outreach Event at Hickam Air Force Base
  • April 18, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Mauka to Makai Event
  • April 18, 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – Molokai Earth Day Event
  • April 20, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – International Tsunami Symposium
  • April 22 – Pacific Tsunami Warning System 50th Anniversary
Case Studies Airplane (credit-TimRT)

New Case Studies Show How the U.S. Is Prepping for Climate Change

The Georgetown Climate Center released 100 case studies describing how America’s leaders are responding to the growing threat of climate change. The case studies highlight some of the most innovative approaches for dealing with climate change and America’s roadways, airports, transit systems, and infrastructure at all phases of decision-making. The case studies are meant to help officials develop best practices for dealing with climate change and for building infrastructure meant to withstand its effects.

NACo Annual Meeting 2015

Registration Now Open for NACo Annual Meeting

County leaders and staff members don’t want to miss the National Association of Counties’ Annual Meeting, July 10-13, 2015. The meeting provides an opportunity for county officials to network, learn, and guide the direction of the association. This year’s meeting will be held in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

Hurricane Map

Communicating the Real Risk of Hurricanes

The current scale of measuring hurricanes only takes into account wind speed—but storm surge is the deadliest threat. A study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research looks into how well the public understands storm surge and how well weather forecasters do at communicating those risks. Using this research, the NOAA National Hurricane Center began implementing new storm surge and hurricane warning systems that used plain language and intuitive maps and coloring to answer the question, “When do I need to evacuate for a storm?”

Climate Leadership Conference

Climate Leadership Conference, February 23-25, 2015

Gather in Washington, D.C. with leaders from business, government, academia, and the nonprofit community to address global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. The annual Climate Leadership Conference provides attendees with networking opportunities, insightful speakers, and cutting edge content.