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Assessing Risk and Identifying Nature-based Solutions with Coastal Resilience 2.0


In 2008, The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with NOAA Coastal Services Center, the Natural Capital Project, the University of Southern Mississippi and the Association of State Floodplain Managers developed a successful Coastal Resilience program using an approach that integrates ecological and socio-economic data to assess coastal hazards.  This data was made available through a set of web-based applications that were developed in response to interest in different regions.  An initial effort in New York led to additional applications in the Gulf of Mexico, Connecticut and a large section of the New York coast. With this success, additional projects were expected to be developed in a total of nine locations around the world, so The Nature Conservancy turned to Azavea to build a framework that would enable them to consolidate all of the data and applications into one unified platform.

Earlier this month The Nature Conservancy released Coastal Resilience 2.0, a suite of tools that enables decision-makers to assess risk and identify nature-based solutions to reduce socio-economic vulnerability to coastal hazards.  Users are able to interactively examine storm surge, sea level rise, natural resources, vulnerable communities and assets, and to develop risk reduction and restoration solutions.  We released Coastal Resilience 2.0 under an open source license and covers different regions including a U.S. National and Global application, 8 U.S. States (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey), 2 specific U.S. locations (Puget Sound, WA, and Ventura County, CA), 4 countries in Latin America (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras) and 3 island nations in the Caribbean (Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S Virgin Islands).

The Nature Conservancy reports that the tools have been used to reduce risk to people and the environment across the U.S and globally.  For example, in the Florida Keys, they are being used to inform sea-level rise planning.  Post Hurricane Sandy, they have been used in New York to identify where marshes may offer the most potential for risk reduction.  And, in Grenada these tools have been used to identify areas for mangrove and reef restoration and with the Red Cross in developing better assessments of community vulnerability.

Coastal Resilience 2.0 is available at http://maps.coastalresilience.org/network/ and is part of a wide array of resources found at  www.coastalresilience.org.