Coastal Hazard and Resilience Planning Project
Weather and climate hazards can result in serious impacts for a community. While many local government leaders and staff often are familiar with the weather and climate hazards their community is at risk for, it is more difficult for local governments to know what intensity they should be planning for (e.g., historically, what’s the worse heat wave we’ve experienced?). Adding another complicated layer, do climate trends or climate models depict a possible change in the intensity or frequency of specific events in the future (e.g., more rain is falling during each event, with drier periods in between)?
Federal programs and non-governmental organizations from around the country have already developed several tools to assist in planning for specific weather and climate hazards, many of which incorporate historic and future climate conditions. However, very few local governments know these tools exist and/or are unsure how to use them to assist with the hazard and resiliency planning process. The tools range from simple vulnerability assessments that determine “low-hanging fruit” a community can address for increasing resiliency to online visualization tools to assess the impact on nearshore development to varying Great Lakes water levels.
The Coastal Hazard and Resilience Planning (CHARP) project led by Sea Grant aims to bridge this gap between the need for assistance in incorporating weather and climate hazards into community planning efforts by developing and testing a process that most effectively introduces the various tools and resources available to local governments. In order to develop and test this process, this project is working one-on-one with three communities within the Great Lakes region to identify each community’s specific barriers and needs for hazard and resiliency planning.
The first component of the CHARP project is to engage local government leaders and/or municipality staff in each of the three Great Lakes communities in a focus group that aims to identify community barriers and needs to hazard and resiliency planning for weather extremes and future climate conditions, identify the community's goals as it relates to planning for weather and climate hazards, and identify barriers to utilizing the available planning tools.
Following the focus groups, the project team will identify and pilot a process specific to each community to assist with incorporating weather and climate hazards into community planning efforts, with the end goal being assisting the community in taking steps towards greater resiliency. In addition, the project team will identify successes and lessons learned with the process in order to inform future work with communities around the United States.
Engaging Great Lakes Communities in Resilience Planning: PROCESS TEMPLATE
Focus Group Discussion Guide: TEMPLATE
Great Lakes Pilot Communities