Adapting Delaware to Climate Change
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. EDT
TBD in New Castle County, DE, United States
CM | 1Add to My Log
The "Adapting Cities to Climate Change" webinar offered on June 6th offers the opportunity for a "value-added" session. We intend to provide a panel of speakers to discuss Adapting Delaware to Climate Change. Susan Love of the state Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control will speak on "Delaware's Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan". Susan is a Planner IV with the Department leading the development of the Plan. During her 12-year tenure at the Department, Susan has led two inundation Special Area Management Plans--Pea Patch Island and South Wilmington—and has worked with towns and community associations to improve their natural resource and open space management. She leads Delaware’s Federal Consistency Certification program, ensuring Federal compliance with Delaware’s coastal management policies. Susan is currently leading a statewide plan to adapt to the effects of sea level rise. Susan has a B.S. in Agriculture and a Master of Public Administration, both from the University of Delaware. Delaware’s economy and quality of life are linked to its shores, expanses of protected wetlands and fertile farm fields. Because of its location and dependence on the coast, Delaware is vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels. The Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee has been established to assess the state’s vulnerability to sea level rise and to provide recommendations for adaptation to the changes of sea level rise. This presentation will provide an overview of sea level rise, its likely effects, and basic adaptation options. It will provide specific examples, utilizing statewide sea level rise inundation maps, and will provide resources for planners to begin vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans within their own towns or agencies. Bill Swiatek, AICP of the Wilington Area Planning Council (WILMAPCO) will discuss "A Transportation Vulnerability Assessment of the Wilmington, Delaware Region." Bill is a Senior Planner with the organization. Bill leads the agency's social justice and environmental planning efforts. He authored a recent study assessing potential sea-level rise impacts to the region's transportation system and communities. Bill is also responsible for managing WILMAPCO's air quality and performance measurement efforts, and serves as Vice-President of the Delaware Chapter of the American Planning Association. He holds a Master's Degree in Geography from the University of Delaware. This summarises the analyses behind WILMAPCO’s recent sea-level rise transportation vulnerability assessment. Cross-governmental coordination and inundation mapping were utilized to detail the transportation network’s exposure to sea-level rise. Public outreach and policy changes at the MPO as a result of this study will be considered. Wendy Carey of the University of Delaware's Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service will present "The City of Lewes (DE) Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Pilot Project." Wendy is a Coastal Processes/Hazards Specialist with the program. Wendy's research interests include natural hazard mitigation, climate change adaptation, sea-level rise, and the geology and hydrology of Delaware’s coastal environment. Wendy holds a Ph.D. in Marine Studies from the University of Delaware. The overall goal of the Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation project was to provide assistance and guidance to the City of Lewes in the development of a unified plan for natural hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation that will improve community sustainability and resilience. Local officials and residents were engaged throughout the process to determine the City’s greatest existing and future vulnerabilities and to chart a course of action to reduce these vulnerabilities. With this goal in mind, the following objectives were the focus of this project: • Increase overall awareness of the threats from natural hazards and climate change and create outreach materials for City officials to keep citizens and others informed. • Design a methodology that integrates climate change adaptation into hazard mitigation planning which will enable the City, in the future, to engage in a combined hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning effort. • Enhance the understanding of Lewes’ vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards and identify data gaps related to natural hazards, climate change and associated threats. • Utilize a prioritization system to select 2 – 4 climate adaptation/hazard mitigation initiatives from national best adaptation/preparedness strategies for coastal communities. • Create a final action plan that the City can use to implement the chosen initiatives.