Proposed Abstract Title

Engaging shoreline property owners in sea level rise adaptation

Presenter/Author Information

Tina WhitmanFollow

Type of Presentation

Snapshot

Session Title

Climate change and ocean acidification

Location

2016SSEC

Description

San Juan County’s 410 miles of saltwater shorelines support regional marine food webs and ecologically, culturally and economically significant species including Chinook salmon and orca whales. As with most of the Salish Sea, shoreline armoring threatens shallow water and estuarine ecosystems by changing beach processes, damaging habitat and impacting marine food webs. With rising seas, armoring will cause further narrowing of the beach and losses of nearshore habitats in a process known as the coastal squeeze. Demand for hard armoring is expected to increase as storminess and rising sea levels threaten public and private infrastructure. As our coastal community relies on a healthy marine ecosystem for its economic well-being, the development of climate adaptation strategies that improve the resilience of both human and natural systems are essential. With the majority of San Juan County’s marine shorelines privately owned, residential property owners directly benefit from access to education, technical resources, and adaptation examples.

In 2014, Friends of the San Juans and project partner Coastal Geologic Services completed a sea level rise vulnerability model for San Juan County. Since then, work has focused on how to communicate sea level rise information without causing the opposite of what is desired - an increase in demand for armoring. New graphics and tools were developed, meetings were conducted with public land managers and a pilot community workshop was held to test communication techniques. These focused outreach, engagement and site specific efforts have resulted in interest and support for multiple habitat friendly climate adaptation projects. Some of the most effective techniques included the sharing of detailed maps, sites visits and a local case study approach to framing the climate adaptation conversation. The presentation will highlight primary methods, lessons learned, and key opportunities and barriers to improving habitat and coastal resilience through targeted work with property owners.

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Engaging shoreline property owners in sea level rise adaptation

2016SSEC

San Juan County’s 410 miles of saltwater shorelines support regional marine food webs and ecologically, culturally and economically significant species including Chinook salmon and orca whales. As with most of the Salish Sea, shoreline armoring threatens shallow water and estuarine ecosystems by changing beach processes, damaging habitat and impacting marine food webs. With rising seas, armoring will cause further narrowing of the beach and losses of nearshore habitats in a process known as the coastal squeeze. Demand for hard armoring is expected to increase as storminess and rising sea levels threaten public and private infrastructure. As our coastal community relies on a healthy marine ecosystem for its economic well-being, the development of climate adaptation strategies that improve the resilience of both human and natural systems are essential. With the majority of San Juan County’s marine shorelines privately owned, residential property owners directly benefit from access to education, technical resources, and adaptation examples.

In 2014, Friends of the San Juans and project partner Coastal Geologic Services completed a sea level rise vulnerability model for San Juan County. Since then, work has focused on how to communicate sea level rise information without causing the opposite of what is desired - an increase in demand for armoring. New graphics and tools were developed, meetings were conducted with public land managers and a pilot community workshop was held to test communication techniques. These focused outreach, engagement and site specific efforts have resulted in interest and support for multiple habitat friendly climate adaptation projects. Some of the most effective techniques included the sharing of detailed maps, sites visits and a local case study approach to framing the climate adaptation conversation. The presentation will highlight primary methods, lessons learned, and key opportunities and barriers to improving habitat and coastal resilience through targeted work with property owners.