Abstract Title

Session S-05H: Planning for Coastal Hazards, Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Washington State

Keywords

Shorelines

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 12:00 PM

Description

Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs) are the vehicle through which local jurisdictions implement Washington’s Shoreline Management Act, the legal framework for shoreline management throughout the State. While Washington’s coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems will see significant climate change impacts, including increased erosion, sea level rise, and ocean acidification, SMPs have not traditionally incorporated these factors. Ecology released interim guidance on incorporating sea level rise into SMPs in 2010, and is working on updated guidance now. This talk will focus primarily on options for incorporating climate change into the inventory and characterization (I&C) phase of the SMP process, which provides the scientific input for decisions in later phases of the process. Information covered by the I&C must address “attributes that pertain to existing and emerging problems and issues in a jurisdiction.” To address climate-related “existing and emerging problems and issues”, jurisdictions need to inventory information on the extent to which these phenomena are already seen along Washington’s coasts, and on plausible future trajectories. In addition to physical and chemical changes, the inventory could include information on changes in the distribution of ecologically, culturally, and commercially important species and critical habitats. The I&C must also describe ecosystem-wide and shoreline processes, functions, opportunities for restoration, public access, and shoreline use. Possibilities for addressing climate change in this stage include: 1. Highlight processes of particular importance for vulnerability or resilience, such as integrated analysis of processes contributing to coastal erosion and accretion, or to the delivery, retention, and toxicity of pollutants. 2. Highlight climate adaptation-related functions or effects of climatic changes on desired functions, such as water storage or temperature regulation of aquatic habitats 3. Incorporate information on vulnerability to acidification, sea level rise, and other climate-related changes into restoration site selection, prioritization, and design. 4. Incorporate information on vulnerability to sea level rise, increased flood severity, and other climate-related changes into plans for public access and shoreline use. 5. For No Net Loss calculations, estimate loss and change due to ongoing climatic and related changes as well as interactions between these and proposed land use changes. 6. Include maps of vulnerability or resilience ratings to inform environmental designations or overlay zones in which to apply special protection While incorporating climatic changes, effects, and risks into shoreline planning will take some changes, it is eminently feasible. It is also essential to the resilience and long-term sustainability of Washington’s coastal communities, economies and ecosystems.

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May 1st, 10:30 AM May 1st, 12:00 PM

Making Washington’s Shoreline Master Programs Climate Smart

Room 607

Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs) are the vehicle through which local jurisdictions implement Washington’s Shoreline Management Act, the legal framework for shoreline management throughout the State. While Washington’s coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems will see significant climate change impacts, including increased erosion, sea level rise, and ocean acidification, SMPs have not traditionally incorporated these factors. Ecology released interim guidance on incorporating sea level rise into SMPs in 2010, and is working on updated guidance now. This talk will focus primarily on options for incorporating climate change into the inventory and characterization (I&C) phase of the SMP process, which provides the scientific input for decisions in later phases of the process. Information covered by the I&C must address “attributes that pertain to existing and emerging problems and issues in a jurisdiction.” To address climate-related “existing and emerging problems and issues”, jurisdictions need to inventory information on the extent to which these phenomena are already seen along Washington’s coasts, and on plausible future trajectories. In addition to physical and chemical changes, the inventory could include information on changes in the distribution of ecologically, culturally, and commercially important species and critical habitats. The I&C must also describe ecosystem-wide and shoreline processes, functions, opportunities for restoration, public access, and shoreline use. Possibilities for addressing climate change in this stage include: 1. Highlight processes of particular importance for vulnerability or resilience, such as integrated analysis of processes contributing to coastal erosion and accretion, or to the delivery, retention, and toxicity of pollutants. 2. Highlight climate adaptation-related functions or effects of climatic changes on desired functions, such as water storage or temperature regulation of aquatic habitats 3. Incorporate information on vulnerability to acidification, sea level rise, and other climate-related changes into restoration site selection, prioritization, and design. 4. Incorporate information on vulnerability to sea level rise, increased flood severity, and other climate-related changes into plans for public access and shoreline use. 5. For No Net Loss calculations, estimate loss and change due to ongoing climatic and related changes as well as interactions between these and proposed land use changes. 6. Include maps of vulnerability or resilience ratings to inform environmental designations or overlay zones in which to apply special protection While incorporating climatic changes, effects, and risks into shoreline planning will take some changes, it is eminently feasible. It is also essential to the resilience and long-term sustainability of Washington’s coastal communities, economies and ecosystems.