RESILIENT COMMUNITIES: A VULNERABILTIY ASSESSMENT IS ONLY STEP ONE

  • Lesley C. Ewing
  • Phyllis Grifman

Abstract

Sea level is rising and climate scientists project a rapid increase in the rise in sea level resulting from current greenhouse gas emissions and latent buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Coastal cities are rapidly coming to grips with the possibility that much of their critical facilities, infrastructure, housing and cultural and environmental assets will need to adapt to changing coastal conditions in the coming years and decades. Increasing sea level will exacerbate most of the coastal hazards that already plague coastal communities - beach and bluff erosion, flooding, inundation, wave impacts, rising groundwater, saltwater intrusion and other water-related hazards.. Discussions of resilience can provide a framework to help coastal communities examine and evaluate options for minimizing the consequence of the risks. Broadly speaking, resilience covers both efforts to minimize the extent of damage to a coastal community that results from a hazard event and ways that the community responds to damages and restored community functions. As defined by the US Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps), resilience includes preparation, protection, recovery, and adaptation. In California, coastal communities are in various stages of vulnerability assessment development and adaptation planning (For example, Regional AdaptLA, USC Sea Grant, 2015). Numerous tools and studies are being developed to assist with the planning efforts. However, few communities have enacted steps beyond planning. The Coastal Community Hazard Protection Resilience Index (CCHPR Index) is a tool that helps communities evaluate adaptation options in the context of their economic, environmental and social/cultural expectations for the coast. Since development of the CCHPR Index (Ewing 2015), it has been applied to several coastal communities.

References

Ewing (2015) Resilience from coastal protection. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 373: 20140383. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2014.0383

USC Sea Grant (2015) Regional AdaptLA: Coastal Impacts Planning for the Los Angeles Region http://dornsife.usc.edu/assets/sites/291/docs/AdaptLA_Final_Reports/AdaptLA_Full_Report_Final_Jan_2017.pdf

US Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Works Directorate (2013) Coastal Risk Reduction and Resilience. http://www.corpsclimate.us/docs/USACE_Coastal_Risk_Reduction_final_CWTS_2013-3.pdf.

Published
2018-12-30
How to Cite
Ewing, L. C., & Grifman, P. (2018). RESILIENT COMMUNITIES: A VULNERABILTIY ASSESSMENT IS ONLY STEP ONE. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 1(36), risk.77. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v36.risk.77