When we first assembled the conceptual framework for StormSmart Coasts back in 2006, we made a deliberate decision to not focus on ecological and habitat issues. This wasn’t because we didn’t think these topics were important—clearly they were and are—but because we wanted to really zero in on hazards without getting entangled on all the complexities that come with what are broadly considered “environmental” issues.
Each year, though, there’s more evidence on how critical natural features are for protecting people and property, especially with regards to sea level rise, and I think it’s time to reevaluate what we emphasize on the StormSmart sites.
In that vein, we’d like to redirect your eyes over to the new “Conserving Coastal Wetlands for Sea Level Rise Adaptation” site brought to you by the folks over at NOAA Coastal Services Center. It aims to help communities understand, identify, prioritize, and then protect/restore appropriate wetlands. Like everything released from the CSC, it’s a quality product. It’s approachable. It’s good. And, “environmental” or not, it’s worth a look if you’re in one of the many coastal communities with wetlands.