New Resilience Tools Available for Connecticut Municipalities from CIRCA Grant Programs/The Coastal Engineering Behind the Flood Maps

APA Connecticut Chapter


Wednesday, October 24, 2018
noon - 12:30 p.m. EDT

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For the past three years, the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) has awarded grants to researchers, municipalities, and Councils of Governments to advance resilience in the state.  These include a Matching Funds Program that leveraged additional grants for resilience and a Municipal Resilience Grants Program to fund planning and design projects at the local level.  One goal of CIRCA funding is to support projects that develop knowledge and tools that are transferable to multiple locations in Connecticut.  This presentation will give an overview of new grant products now available. 

CIRCA helps coastal and inland floodplain communities in Connecticut better adapt to changes in climate and also make human‐built infrastructure more resilient while protecting valuable ecosystems.  This presentation will highlight new products and tools that address a variety of resilience and climate adaptation topics including:

  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Inland Flooding
  • Green Infrastructure & Living Shorelines
  • Coastal Flooding and Waves
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Policy and Planning

Most everyone at this meeting understands how to read FEMA FIRM maps, what is meant by “Base Flood Elevation” (BFE) and the implications of VE Zone versus AE Zone. However, how many know the process FEMA uses to create the maps and the coastal engineering science that is utilized to determine the zones and BFEs? This presentation will provide an overview of the process utilized by FEMA to develop the flood maps and will include discussion on the coastal engineering modeling and analyses utilized to determine stillwater elevations, wave heights, wave setup, runup and overtopping that become the basis for the zones and corresponding BFEs. The impacts of site topography, coastal structures and erosion will also be covered. The presentation will help answer questions such as “How was that wave height determined?”, “What are the impacts of that coastal structure?”, and “Why is the BFE so much higher in this location?”


Katie Lund

Program Coordinator at CIRCA. In this role she manages the Institute’s grant projects that increase resilience of Connecticut’s vulnerable coastal communities to the growing impacts of climate change. Katie has worked for over 15 years on a variety of coastal management topics. Most recently as staff with the ... Read More

Azure Sleicher

Azure Dee Sleicher is a professional engineer and Vice President of Coastal Engineering at RACE Coastal Engineering. Ms. Sleicher has more than 18 years of experience in coastal engineering with focus on the analysis, design and permitting of coastal erosion protection structures, piers and marina docking facilities. Ms. Sleicher is ... Read More

Contact Info

Jeanne Davies,