By Janan Evans-Wilent
Many coastal communities in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) are at risk of coastal change and flood hazards during the winter, which are only expected to increase with climate change. At present, local decision-makers lack both the information and tools for an adaptive capacity to reduce their vulnerability, particularly with uncertain sea level rise, changing storm patterns, and projected shifts in the frequency and severity of El Niños. Within this context of uncertainty and lack of information, we are developing a transferable approach for projecting the evolving probabilities of coastal and bay flooding and erosion, and the associated vulnerability of Grays Harbor County communities to these hazards. In order to develop usable decision-support tools, we are co-developing the information and strategies necessary to assess these impacts and initiate adaptation methods with local stakeholders, in order to identify priorities and concerns and explore policy scenarios that realistically fit the county’s needs.
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