In Portland, Maine and our neighbors to the north in Hampton/Seabrook New Hampshire, climate change adaptation processes are underway. They stand to be greatly enhanced via their use of COAST (COastal Adaptation to Sea level rise Tool). In Portland, Maine, a May 2011 conference on sea level rise and meetings of the City Council’s Engery, Environment, and Sustainability Committee have dramatically increased public support for a city-wide sea level rise planning process. In the New Hampshire, an adaptation workgroup (NH CAW) has conducted pilot adaptation planning and training efforts since 2009.
Both stakeholder groups are examining potential impacts of sea level rise and storm surge if no action is taken. Specifically, they are discussing costs and benefits of specific actions they might take to protect vulnerable assets they have prioritized. Both groups are also identifying appropriate time horizons, sea level rise thresholds, and storm surge frequencies and intensities to simulate. The EFC is securing required input data, conducting the cost-benefit analyses, and providing interpretation of avoided costs associated with each adaptation action under consideration. Through 3D visualizations of avoided costs, multi-decade tallies of expected damage for each adaptation action considered, and narrative and presentation-based interpretation of these avoided costs, the EFC is helping the stakeholder groups take practical steps forward in their adaptation planning processes.
Please see http://efc.muskie.usm.maine.edu/pages/projects_cre.html to learn more about it.