From the guest editors’ desk: Seeking a more equitable path to resilience
Shannon Cunniff and Tom Herrington
Projection of future hurricane risk in changing climate considering population vulnerability
Sami Pant and Eun Jeong Cha
https://doi.org/10.34237/1009041 Shore & Beach 90(4), p. 3-13.
Future climate is expected to generate more intense hurricanes compared to the present, leading to more devastating impacts in hurricane-prone regions. Under the prospect of increasing hurricane intensity, risk assessment considering climate change is the first step in planning for hurricane risk mitigation strategies. In this study, climate-dependent regional hurricane risk is assessed for eight counties extending across the U.S. south and east coast. A hurricane impact model is developed and used to assess the regional hurricane risk by considering population vulnerability. It is found that hurricane risks in the future climate are higher than the present for all the counties, though the degree of increase is found to differ across the counties. It is also observed that the demographic composition of a region has an appreciable influence on the regional hurricane risk.
Coastal Forum: Navigating the middle space—Just transitions for U.S. coastal adaptation
https://doi.org/10.34237/1009042 Shore & Beach 90(4), p. 14-17.
Long-term, sustainable climate adaptation — strategies that can be maintained over time without external support and without unduly burdening future generations — is often at odds with short-term development pressures and financial incentives for coastal communities. Adaptive management approaches that iteratively revisit decisions over time are one strategy to navigate the transition between short- and long-term goals, but iterative decisions may simply replicate short-term pressures unless the broader incentive structures also change. Alterations may require systemic transformation to address multiple challenges simultaneously, and transformation will require careful consideration of social justice. In short, coastal adaptation needs a just transition strategy: a plan both to alter political, economic, and social institutions to navigate the middle ground between short-term response and long-term sustainable adaptation and to redress historical injustices through holistic and radically participatory processes. The time to develop such a transition plan is now: while coastal communities are building the future.
Exploring diverse perspectives of coastal resilience: The state of resilience model
Laura Szczyrba, Justin Shawler, Ali Mohammad Rezaie, and Vanessa Constant
https://doi.org/10.34237/1009043 Shore & Beach 90(4), p. 18-27.
In the context of climate change, the term resilience was popularized by the field of ecology to describe how ecological systems respond to stress and has since been adopted and significantly adapted by various fields, including psychology, policy, urban planning, and engineering. The exact meaning of resilience has blurred over time. In the context of coastal hazards, “resilience” is a holistic idea that relates long and short-term physical hazards with societal and biological impacts and mitigation measures. However, applying this idea to community-based mitigation planning remains challenging due to: (1) the diverse meanings, perspectives, and applications of the term, (2) the tendency of the term to defer to the status quo, thereby neglecting the voices of historically marginalized populations, and (3) the non-participatory and quantitative nature of resilience studies, often depending on cost-benefit analyses. In this paper, an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners develops and proposes a new conceptual model for coastal resilience that offers to help address these aforementioned challenges by focusing on meaningful community engagement. The goal of this paper is to introduce the pitfalls of existing interpretations of coastal resilience, describe the team-based approach applied to develop this framework, and provide a theoretical path forward that addresses the current challenges in describing coastal resilience. This new framework (a) integrates relevant factors of coastal resilience including hazards, exposure, vulnerability, adaptation, mitigation and preparedness to qualitatively explore a community’s perception and state of resilience which (b) transcends existing models and (c) can be interpreted through a variety of perspectives. This model can be applied to document and assess locally differential understandings of coastal resilience and to engage communities in reflections of their individual and collective sense of resilience.
Understanding the coast as a peopled place: A literature survey of place attachment in climate change adaptation
https://doi.org/10.34237/1009044 Shore & Beach 90(4), p. 28-42.
As the field of adaptation science grows, there are new and emerging paradigms to approach climate change planning. This paper includes a literature survey of articles and manuscripts that evaluate coastal climate change adaptation in the place attachment paradigm. The survey included a database review for an 11-year period with associated search terms and, after initial sifting of the results for duplications or nonrelated works, I reviewed the relationship between place attachment and adaptation, empirical methods for studying place attachment, major framing of their relationship, and how these concepts relate to equitable and “just adaptation.” Most studies used multiple and mixed methods with frequent use of semi-structured interviews and a psychometric scale. Primary frames for place attachment in adaptation were social capital, cultural heritage, managed retreat and migration, and ecosystem services. Place attachment can be a motivator for environmental action but a barrier to change, especially managed retreat. It can reveal critical elements and socio-cultural practices dependent on the landscape that are priorities to the residents and visitors. Finally, place attachment provides an opportunity, for more equitable and just adaptation, if done intentionally. After discussion of the results, I present research, policy, and practice considerations to further the intersection and application of place attachment in adaptation.
Coastal Forum: Building the foundation: Coupling capacity-building resources with planning and engagement to build equity and resilience in Virginia
Grace Tucker and Emily Steinhilber
https://doi.org/10.34237/1009045 Shore & Beach 90(4), p. 43-52.
In 2021, the Commonwealth of Virginia concurrently completed the first phase of a Coastal Resilience Master Plan (CRMP) to outline coastal flood hazards and launched a statewide Community Flood Preparedness Fund (CFPF) to jump-start flood resilience capacity building and project implementation. Both initiatives required extensive locality awareness and buy-in to be successful and, despite best efforts, engagement and outreach fell short. The two initiatives were geographically and financially disconnected, leaving localities in the coastal zone with little incentive to participate fully in the CRMP process and localities throughout the state looking for more information about the CFPF. Strategies to improve outreach and engagement and link the two initiatives could provide incentive for participation in both, as has occurred in other regions, as the agency responsible for both moves forward with state mandated planning and engagement. This paper explores lessons learned in Virginia and the potential of the CFPF to level the playing field by allowing lower-resourced, rural, and riverine communities to catch up with urban, coastal communities and become more competitive for funding to address flooding while also concurrently enhancing statewide and coastal resilience planning initiatives.
The Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool (RAFT) as an approach for incorporating equity into coastal resilience planning and project implementation
Juita-Elena (Wie) Yusuf, Tanya Denckla Cobb, Elizabeth Andrews, Sierra Gladfelter, and Gray Montrose
https://doi.org/10.34237/1009046 Shore & Beach 90(4), p. 53-63.
As coastal communities across the U.S. and worldwide undertake efforts to enhance their resilience to coastal hazards, they must do so while ensuring that all voices are heard, addressing and preventing disparate impacts, and, ultimately, increasing resilience in an equitable way. The Resilience Adaptation Feasibility Tool (RAFT) assists coastal communities in incorporating equity into resilience planning and implementation of projects to increase resilience. The RAFT includes social and economic dimensions in assessment of resilience and focuses on how localities can build resilience equitably. The RAFT process has three phases — a scorecard assessment, development of a resilience action checklist that identifies priority actions to build resilience, and implementation of resilience projects over a one-year period — and equity is integrated throughout. This paper provides an overview of the RAFT and how its approach incorporates equity in resilience planning and project implementation. The paper concludes with lessons learned from the RAFT experience that can be helpful for practitioners and communities interested in planning for and taking action to enhance coastal resilience in an equitable way.