ASBPA is helping to address top management challenges in coastal communities across the Southeast U.S. High tide flooding has become a major concern to tourism-based and residential coastal communities. A widespread network of water level monitoring stations is needed to improve coastal resilience.
ASBPA’s 5-year “Southeast Coastal Communities Water Level Observation System” project has been funded by SECOORA (Southeast Coastal and Ocean Observing Regional Association), which is a member of the US Integrated Ocean Observing System, and part of NOAA. ASBPA is leading one of four teams selected to create a new regional water level network. The project will engage 40 of ASBPA’s member communities to install low-cost sensors to fill gaps between federal tide stations. ASBPA is seeking funding to expand this project on a national scale.
“Community demand for local water-level data has exceeded expectations,” said Dr. Nicole Elko, ASBPA Science Director. “Managers have elected to install sensors on their estuarine shorelines, where chronic and episodic flooding is most severe.”
The project will provide real-time water level data, tide predictions, and flooding alerts to coastal communities. The data will be used to plan for and respond to flood emergencies and design resilience strategies for sea-level rise and the projected increase in flooding. The ASBPA is collaborating with Hohonu, Inc., a technology startup that provides environmental water level monitoring to help communities adapt to climate change.
“We’re excited to participate in the SECOORA project with ASBPA,” said Linda Laird, Chair, Captiva Community Panel’s Sea Level Rise Committee. “The closest NOAA gauge is 25 miles away on the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers. Now Captiva has real-time data on water levels.”
As the water level sensors are installed, data will become available online at Hohonu’s website. Sign up for a free account to view the data and community-defined critical elevation thresholds. Ultimately, data will be accessible on SECOORA’s website.