News from Our Partners
Summer in the Great Lakes is a time for fun in the sun on the shores of the lakes. But dangerous waves and currents can turn a wonderful relaxing day into a nightmare. A new initiative from Sea Grant programs and partners in the Great Lakes aims to educate young adults, parents, and children to “Be Current Smart.” The campaign includes tips, key messages, and additional resources for parents.
Coastal hazards are increasing in frequency, but using the Global Hazard Atlas could give you an edge in planning ahead. This tool allows users to see every current hazard throughout the world, including hurricanes, tsunamis, wildfires, earthquakes, and more. And there’s an app for that—for iOS or Android.
New Hampshire’s GIS Clearinghouse created a data viewer using a variety of spatial data sets to assist planners and community managers. The viewer includes basic coastal information as well as hazards data for all 42 coastal watershed communities. The project will help community members identify coastal hazards and their associated risks in order to better plan for the future.
With the increased threat of sea level rise and coastal flooding, the number of tools to assist community managers has grown exponentially. However, not all of these viewers are created equally. Climate Central developed a matrix for California that dives into the differences between the tools, their geographic ranges, and some of their features. The goal was to provide the planning community with a way to quickly determine which tool is most relevant to their needs. The matrix includes tools from The Nature Conservancy, NOAA, Climate Central, and a variety of California agencies and organizations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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