News from Our Partners
On February 4, 2015, from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. (Eastern time), join experts from NOAA’s Digital Coast and the National Association of Counties to discuss tools for resilient coastal counties. This interactive Google Hangout will allow users to see how to effectively use tools like the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer, Coastal County Snapshots, Historical Hurricane Tracker, and more. Digital Coast staff members will provide real-time demonstrations and be available to discuss county-specific issues.
Real estate investors need to understand flood risk and future trends in the face of climate change in order to make smart investments, according to an article from the Urban Land Institute. When Sandy hit New York City, almost double the area that was within the designated Special Flood Hazard Areas suffered severe flooding. Better data are more widely available, but sea level rise brings the benefits of these maps into question. The article emphasizes an important point to consider: a property may be outside of a flood zone today, but it may not be tomorrow.
More people are moving into floodplains in the Gulf of Mexico every day, yet residents are not preparing for floods, hurricanes, or other natural hazards, a recent survey says. The Community Resilience Index was created to increase awareness of natural hazard risks in local communities. This self-assessment tool is meant to give local leaders an easy way to predict if their community will reach and maintain an acceptable level of functioning and structure after a disaster.
To help the public and decision-makers prepare for a future that considers a changing climate and its effects, the White House created the new U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit. The toolkit features data, tools, and case studies from agencies and organizations across the country, including the Digital Coast. An article from the National Resources Defense Council highlights the toolkit and shares more information about “a cool new tool,” NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer.
The National Association of Counties will host the 2015 Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., from February 21 to 25, 2015. Gather with over 2,000 elected and appointed county officials from across the country to focus on legislative issues facing county governments. Register today and review the conference program for more information on sessions and speakers.
Registration is now open for Coastal GeoTools 2015. Join coastal professionals and geospatial specialists from a variety of sectors, and from around the country, to discuss geospatial data, tools, technology, and information for coastal resource professionals. Registration closes on March 27, 2015 for the conference held in North Charleston, South Carolina, March 30 to April 2, 2015. This year, GeoTools will feature its first Tweetup—where you’ll be able to get together with fellow attendees to discuss the sessions and social media. View the preliminary program for more information.
In the Northeast coastal region, work is underway to better organize and integrate marine spatial data to support ocean planning and management efforts. These data can be integral to a successful ocean management plan. However, many data sets are not written in a common language, making comparison between them difficult. The Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard provides a common language and can be used to translate existing data sets for comparative use. The Northeast is testing out the utility of the classification standard in this way and has released a report with the results.
Guidance on how to conduct risk-based climate change vulnerability assessments and develop adaptation plans is available in a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency workbook. Being Prepared for Climate Change: A Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans helps users to identify, analyze, and prioritize climate change risks. By consulting this publication to address climate change in their plans, users will be ready to protect environmental resources, public safety, and infrastructure.
Register now for the 14th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, January 29 to 31, 2015. The conference will explore some great success stories from throughout Baltimore and greater Maryland as well as practical strategies for identifying and overcoming barriers to more sustainable development in the region. Join in on one of the 16 dynamic tours and see some projects in person. New Partners for Smart Growth brings together attendees from all disciplines in order to create diverse conversations around smart-growth.
Marshes play a large role in ecosystem health, providing nursery habitat, protection from storm surge, and much more. When it comes to restoring a marsh and its functions, not just any vegetation will do. Coastal managers must employ vegetation types that fit the area, ensuring they will thrive and further benefit the community. The Marsh Analysis and Planning Tool Incorporating Tides and Elevations helps planners do just that. It combines elevation data, local tide data, and grass type information to delineate planting areas and provides the information in a GIS-friendly format.