Adapting to Sea Level Rise: Delaware's Planning Process

From the Introduction:

Sea level rise has the potential to significantly impact Delaware’s economy, coastal resources and communities over the next several decades. As a result of rising sea levels, low lying coastal areas could be inundated, storm events may become more frequent and more intense, and coastal erosion may be more severe than previously experienced. Rising sea levels can also contribute to salt water contamination of groundwater and surface water resources.  To address these concerns, a Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan will be developed for the State of Delaware. This statewide plan will provide a framework that will allow Delawareans to proactively consider the potential effects of sea level rise when making long-term infrastructure investments and public policy decisions.

EcoAdapt is at the center of climate change adaptation innovation. We provide support, training, and assistance to make conservation and management less vulnerable and more Climate Savvy. Over the past 200 years, great strides have been made in the world of conservation and now all of that is at risk because of climate change. EcoAdapt is working to ensure the success of these past efforts by delivering a framework for climate adaptation.

Shoreline Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise in British Columbia


V8W 9M9 Victoria , BC
48° 25' 30.4104" N, 123° 21' 53.172" W
British Columbia CA

To help survey and assess the vulnerability of British Columbia lands to climate change, the BC Ministry of Environment has used GIS technology to create sensitivity maps of the Province. These projects have been conducted in collaboration with students at the Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC under the mentorship of BC Ministry of Environment staff.

The BC Ministry of Environment is tasked to foster and enhance a clean, healthy and naturally diverse environment. In 2009, the Environmental Stewardship and Parks and Protected Areas Divisions of the BC Ministry of Environment distributed Common Statements of Understanding and Working Principles related to climate change adaptation. These principles should be taken into consideration in all future projects and planning. The Ministry recognizes that it must prepare for and adapt to the unavoidable impacts rising greenhouse gas concentrations will cause throughout the Province.

California Water Plan Update 2009: Volume 1 - The Strategic Plan

California Water Plan Update 2009 presents the latest statewide strategic plan for water management - a roadmap to year 2050. Updated every 5 years, the California Water Plan provides a framework for water managers, legislators, and the public to consider options and make decisions regarding California's water future. Our goal is to meet Water Code requirements, receive broad support among those participating in California's water planning, and create a useful document for the public, water managers and planners throughout the state, legislators, Tribes, and other decision-makers. The Update is comprised of five volumes: Volume 1 - The Strategic Plan; Volume 2 - Resource Management Strategies; Volume 3 - Regional Reports; Volume 4 - Reference Guide; and Volume 5 - Technical Guide.

INE, part of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, is responsible for the generation of scientific and technical information on environmental issues, as well as capacity building in human resourse areas, in order to inform society, support decision making, encourage the protection of the environment, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.

The Rhode Island Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination team is a state interagency commission dedicated to the protection, management, restoration and sustainable development of Rhode Island's fresh and marine waters and watersheds. The BRWCT conducts strategic interagency planning, fosters coordination of government programs and partnerships, and makes targeted investments in science, monitoring, policy analysis, and the pursuit of strategic projects in support of our aquatic environments and their human uses.

2009 California Climate Adaptation Strategy

Led by the California Natural Resources Agency, numerous other state agencies were involved in the creation of the strategy including Environmental Protection; Business, Transportation and Housing; Health and Human Services; and the Department of Agriculture. This report focuses on sectors that include: Public Health; Biodiversity and Habitat; Ocean and Coastal Resources; Water Management; Agriculture; Forestry; and Transportation and Energy Infrastructure. The strategy is in direct response to Gov. Schwarzenegger's November 2008 Executive Order S-13-08 that specifically asked the Natural Resources Agency to identify how state agencies can respond to rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, sea level rise, and extreme natural events.

Dawson Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Dawson Adaptation Plan is based on a collaborative process that draws on the experience and knowledge of residents and integrates it with scientific expertise. The plan is primarily intended as a resource for community use and to support other planning and decision-making processes in the study area, the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory. The Dawson Adaptation project team itself is made up by members of the International Polar Year Dawson Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Arctic Regions (CAVIAR) team, and the Northern Climate ExChange (NCE).

Natural Security: How Sustainable Water Strategies are Preparing Communities for a Changing Climate

From the Executive Summary:

Clean water is essential to our health, our communities, and our lives. Yet our water infrastructure (drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems, dams, and levees) is seriously outdated. In addition, we have degraded much of our essential natural infrastructure (forests, streams, wetlands, and floodplains). Climate change will worsen the situation, as rising temperatures, increased water demands, extended droughts, and intense storms strain our water supplies, flood our communities, and pollute our waterways.

The same approaches we have used for centuries will not solve today’s water challenges. We need to fundamentally transform the way we manage water.

A 21st century approach would recognize “green infrastructure” as the core of our water management system. Green infrastructure is the most cost-effective and flexible way for communities to deal with the impacts of global warming. It has three critical components:

  • Protect healthy landscapes like forests and small streams that naturally sustain clean water supplies.
  • Restore degraded landscapes like floodplains and wetlands so they can better store flood water and recharge streams and aquifers.
  • Replicate natural water systems in urban settings, to capture rainwater for outdoor watering and other uses and prevent stormwater and sewage pollution.

This report highlights eight forward-looking communities that have become more resilient to the impacts of climate change by embracing green infrastructure. They have taken steps to prepare themselves in four areas where the effects of rising temperatures will be felt most: public health, extreme weather, water supply, and quality of life. In each case study we demonstrate how these water management strategies build resilience to the projected impacts of climate change in that area and how the communities that have adopted them will continue to thrive in an uncertain future.