CRC Community Impacts

Texas and the greater Gulf South are filled with stories about people and communities who are successfully adapting to coastal hazards. In order to highlight some of these stories, Texas Sea Grant has launched a webinar series, Coastal Hazard Adaptation Success Stories, that features presenters who are working with stakeholders to help prepare for coastal hazards such as sea-level rise, coastal erosion, hurricanes, and more. For more information, also see the Climate Literacy Webinar Series YouTube playlist

Living Shorelines as Adaptable Erosion Control

The first success story webinar was presented by Lee Anne Wilde of the Galveston Bay Foundation. In it, she discusses living shorelines as a way to prevent erosion and prepare for sea-level rise. Download the webinar summary.

Webinar overview: A common concern of many landowners with shoreline property is erosion. A common response to erosion is “armoring”: the installation of bulkheads, rip-rap or other hard structures directly onshore to stop erosion and protect property. These shoreline protection methods, particularly bulkheads, can actually increase erosion on adjacent properties and in front of the structure itself. Living shorelines are shoreline management options that provide erosion control while working with nature to restore, create or protect valuable habitat. As opposed to bulkheads or armoring, living shorelines are designed to allow natural coastal processes to take place by allowing the movement of organics in and out of the marsh; absorbing wave energy from wind, boats and storm events; and filtering pollutants from runoff. This webinar provides an introduction to common living shorelines methods and discuss their suitability in the short and long term as effective erosion control in an ever-changing environment. In addition, the webinar introduces the Living Shorelines Academy, an interactive, web-based tool and knowledge base for homeowners and professionals. 


Collaborative Planning for Sea-Level Rise in the Tampa Bay Region

The second success story webinar was presented by Libby Carnahan of Florida Sea Grant. In it, she discusses how she worked with scientists other stakeholders in the Tampa Bay area of Florida to develop a consensus projection for sea-level rise in the region. She walks us through some lessons learned from the process and offers valuable advice for bringing groups of scientists together to work on controversial issues.

Webinar overview: Coastal communities surrounding Tampa Bay, Florida, are low-lying, densely-populated and therefore vulnerable to sea-level rise. In response to requests from local governments in the Tampa Bay region, Florida Sea Grant (FSG) and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC) are facilitating coordinated efforts to guide sea-level rise adaptation planning in the region. Under the facilitation of the FSG Agent, the scientists participated in a year-long iterative process of literature review, expert speaker presentations, and facilitated discussion, and in September 2015 published the final “Recommended Projection of Sea-Level Rise in the Tampa Bay Region”. With this shared projection, the TBRPC is leading area governments to coordinate, develop, and implement appropriate coastal adaptation and risk reduction strategies. Since the adoption of the SLR Recommendation, local governments are increasing their awareness of climate change and sea-level rise issues and incorporating adaptation strategies into their planning processes. Some such efforts that will be discussed.