North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study Natural and Nature-Based
North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study Natural and Nature-Based Approaches to Support Coastal Resilience and Risk Reduction Emily Vuxton and Lauren Leuck U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources (IWR) Alexandria, VA US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG Outline Background and Context on the Authority and Objectives of the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) Coastal Risk Reduction and Resilience and Natural and Nature-Based Features (NNBF) The NACCS NNBF Policy Workshop Findings and Opportunities on NNBF Policy and
Institutional Barriers Questions BUILDING STRONG Slide 2 Study Authority Public Law 113-2 directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to: conduct a comprehensive study to address the flood risks of vulnerable coastal populations in areas that were affected by Hurricane Sandy within the boundaries of the North Atlantic Division of the Corps in coordination with other Federal agencies, and State, local and Tribal officials to ensure consistency with other plans to be developed. BUILDING STRONG
Slide 3 North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study Study due to Congress by January 2015 Ensure study is consistent with interagency efforts Identify institutional barriers and develop strategies to address them BUILDING STRONG 4 Slide 4 Study Area
BUILDING STRONG 5 Slide 5 Coastal Risk Reduction and Resilience The USACE planning approach supports an integrated approach to reducing coastal risks and increasing human and ecosystem community resilience through a combination of natural, nature-based, non-structural and structural measures. This approach considers the engineering attributes of the component features and the dependencies and interactions among these features over both the short- and long-term. It also considers the full
range of environmental and social benefits produced by the component features. BUILDING STRONG Slide 6 BUILDING STRONG Slide 7 Key Definitions Natural Natural and andNature-Based Nature-BasedFeatures Features Natural Naturalfeatures
featuresare arecreated createdand andevolve evolveover overtime timethrough throughthe theactions actionsof of physical, physical,biological, biological,geologic, geologic,and andchemical chemicalprocesses processesoperating operatingin in
reliability,risk, risk,and andresilience. resilience. BUILDING STRONG Slide 8 Policy Challenges to Using Nature-Based and Green Coastal Features for Risk Reduction and Resiliency Workshop November 20th, 2013 at USACE IWR in Alexandria, VA 34 participants Breakout groups and plenary sessions generated discussion and input
BUILDING STRONG Slide 9 Questions from Policy Workshop Question #1: What do you believe are the most significant policy challenges related to the implementation of NNBF? What changes in existing policy would have the greatest positive influence on the implementation of NNBF? Question #2: What actions could be taken to improve the coordination needed among federal, state and local agencies in order to implement NNBF? What actions could be taken within your own organization to expand opportunities for the implementation of NNBF?
Question #3: What uncertainties or information gaps impede decision making for NNBF projects? How can progress be made on implementing NNBF in view of these uncertainties? How do existing policies support or impede the application of adaptive management to NNBF projects? Question #4: How can communication across the organizations interested in NNBF (including governmental and non-governmental organizations) be improved? BUILDING STRONG Slide 10 KEY FINDINGS AND OPPORTUNITIES BUILDING STRONG Slide 11
Science, Engineering, and Technology Knowledge and Data Deficiencies on NNBF Performance Timing Scale Lifecycle costs to operate and maintain Effects of sea level rise and climate change Policies and resources are needed to address these deficiencies. BUILDING STRONG Slide 12 Science, Engineering, and Technology Ecosystem Goods and Services (EGS) The kinds of EGS and the extent of EGS provided by different NNBF solutions are generally poorly understood. Need means to perform full valuations of the complete
range of EGS provided by NNBF. Policies to inform cost-benefit valuations of the EGS provided by NNBF are needed for project prioritization and agency budgeting. There is a need for policies regarding the use of nonmonetized benefits and direction on how to monetize benefits provided by NNBF. BUILDING STRONG Slide 13 Science, Engineering, and Technology Adaptive Management Many federal agencies lack funding or clear mandates to conduct adaptive management. Adaptive management is also impeded by existing consultation processes and NEPA requirements which can prohibit responsive adaptive management. Existing policies hamper the application of
adaptive management in municipalities. BUILDING STRONG Slide 14 Science, Engineering, and Technology Opportunities NNBF demonstration projects are needed. Need to develop case studies, best practices, and guidance documents on NNBF. Create risk and resiliency performance metrics for NNBF to consider processes and outputs across a range of scales, including at the scale of the overall system. There is also the need and opportunity to more effectively and transparently share information between the government, stakeholders, and general public about NNBF. BUILDING STRONG Slide 15
Leadership and Institutional Coordination Land use planning and zoning policies often do not encourage, and can limit the use of NNBF. All USACE flood and coastal storm damage reduction projects require a cost sharing partner, but aligning budgets and schedules for cost-sharing partnerships is an ongoing challenge. Local agency planning timelines and federal agency permitting timelines are often misaligned. Projects are often regulated on a case by case basis but the development of programmatic, regional, landscape, or system focused projects could increase efficiencies in permitting. There is a need for policies that support efficient coordination and decision making for NNBF projects that could impact wetlands, threatened and endangered species, or essential fish habitat. BUILDING STRONG Slide 16
Leadership and Institutional Coordination Emergency Response Some authorities restrict what can be built using emergency funds. Potential changes to these policies should be discussed. Aid provided after emergencies should be delivered in a strategic way by implementing updated and more resilient solutions, including NNBF, as opposed to rebuilding to predisaster conditions. A gap in coordination between the emergency response, recovery, and mitigation communities is currently present that could be addressed to encourage the implementation of more resilient solutions following a disaster. BUILDING STRONG Slide 17 Leadership and Institutional Coordination Opportunities Improve regional coordination through existing mechanisms such as Silver Jackets, NOAA Sea Grant and USDA extension offices.
Utilize public/private partnerships to implement NNBF. Initiate the development of guidance and policies to achieve robust coordination and data sharing among resource and planning agencies. Incorporate NNBF into existing decision support and communication tools. Leverage partnerships and funding to promote NNBF in support of community resilience. Develop a guidebook with information on NNBF that could be implemented during the process following a disaster. BUILDING STRONG Slide 18 Communication and Outreach Develop common definitions for NNBF. A greater understanding of the costs and benefits of NNBF is needed to be able to compare these features to more traditional structural methods. Communication needs to be improved at multiple
levels including between and within Federal, state, and local levels of government. Outreach and communication should target private interests and homeowners who determine the types of projects to implement on their land. BUILDING STRONG Slide 19 Communication and Outreach Opportunities Develop a policy digest with relevant definitions of NNBF, as well as the authorities, roles and responsibilities of Federal, state and local agencies that have jurisdiction or interest in the implementation of NNBF. Form a NNBF community of practice. Develop guidance and tools for private interests and landowners with information on the use, implementation and performance of NNBF.
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