The Climate Adaptation Planning Information System: A Decision Support Tool for Planning for Climate Change in Oregon’s Coastal Communities

Posted on: 10/13/2021 - Updated on: 11/28/2022

Posted by

Rachel Gregg

Summary

To help coastal decision-makers evaluate and assess impacts and options related to communities and natural resources in the face of a changing climate, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development’s Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP) developed the Climate Adaptation Planning Information System (CAPIS). CAPIS was a web-based tool that provided decision-makers with high-quality resources on climate vulnerability and adaptation. In 2009, a workshop was held to convene information providers and information users to foster the development of the CAPIS, and to ensure that the climate data and resources provided to decision-makers was in a useful format, easily accessible, and at an appropriate spatial scale. While CAPIS is no longer active, the results of the workshop discussions and partnerships developed continue to support local adaptation planning efforts in Oregon.

Background

Climate change impacts such as increased temperatures, increased frequency and intensity of storms, sea level rise, and changes in precipitation are expected to affect Oregon’s coastal communities and natural resources. Local coastal planners and resource managers are responsible for ensuring both community and ecosystem stability even under changing conditions. As coastal decision-makers work toward planning for and adapting to climate change, they require information that is easily accessed, in a useful form, and provided at an appropriate spatial scale.

The CAPIS was a web-based tool to support vulnerability and adaptation analyses as a means for coastal decision-makers to evaluate and assess climate impacts and adaptation options related to communities and natural resources. The purpose of CAPIS was to aggregate the data and information needed to walk users through a vulnerability and adaptation planning process for use in local planning and resource management decision-making.

Implementation

In August 2009, the OCMP convened a workshop in order to foster the development of a decision support system. The workshop was designed to be a collaborative effort, bringing together almost 40 participants including information providers (e.g., state and agency scientists), information users (e.g., coastal planners and decision-makers), and system designers. The overall purpose was to create a web-based tool that community planners and resource managers could use to access and find the data they need to make decisions. The workshop was divided into four sessions:

  • Session 1: Establishing the requirements of decision-makers. What data and information do decision-makers need in order to make decisions related to coastal and estuarine inundation, water supply and water resources, and coastal, estuarine, and marine ecosystems?
  • Session 2: Establishing visualization and other IT-related capabilities to support decision-making. What are the IT and visualization capabilities of project partners and how can they be applied in the context of the vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning process?
  • Session 3: Establishing data and information product capabilities to support decision-making. What data and information products do project partners have and how can they be used in the context of the vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning process?
  • Session 4: Mapping decision-maker needs to partner capabilities. Synthesize decision-maker needs and partner capabilities for community development, estuarine and watershed planning, and ocean planning and management.

Outcomes and Conclusions

Information gathered during the workshop was used to start developing pilot studies and helped to build and enhance partnerships. The CAPIS project planning team included representatives from the OCMP, U.S. Geological Survey, and Oregon State University, among others. In 2010, the CAPIS project team developed a proof-of-concept workplan, which outlined the steps necessary to apply the CAPIS tool to pilot studies in order to demonstrate its utility. As of 2014, the CAPIS has been inactive. Results from the CAPIS planning workshop discussions and partnerships developed continue to support local adaptation planning efforts in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development has continued to provide resources and tools for adaptation planning.

Citation

Kershner, J. (2020). The Climate Adaptation Planning Information System: A Decision Support Tool for Planning for Climate Change in Oregon’s Coastal Communities. [Case study on a project of the Oregon Coastal Management Program]. Version 2.0. Product of EcoAdapt’s State of Adaptation Program. Retrieved from CAKE: https://www.cakex.org/case-studies/climate-adaptation-planning-information-system-decision-support-tool-planning-climate-change-oregon’s-coastal-communities (Last updated June 2020).

Project Contact(s)

Position: Senior Scientist
Organization:

Organization(s)

The Oregon Coastal Management Program knits together various state statutes for managing our coastal lands and waters into a single, coordinated package. The lands and waters managed by the Program are defined as Oregon's Coastal Zone. We provide substantial financial and technical assistance to coastal local governments for planning, capacity building, and special projects. We coordinate and integrate programs of local, state, and federal agencies to support local planning and to protect and restore coastal natural resources.

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