Since 2008, the Nature Conservancy and its partners have developed a host of online mapping decision support tools and apps that provide planners a process to guide decisions aimed to reduce both the ecological and socio-economic risks of coastal hazards while promoting nature-based solutions *. Coastal Resilience was awarded the 2014 winner of the Global Disaster Resilience app challenge in the Best Professional and Scientific App category for disaster risk reduction. The winning app in the Coastal Resilience tool platform is called Coastal Defense, developed by a team led by The Nature Conservancy, Natural Capital Project, US Geological Survey, University of California at Santa Cruz, and University of Southern Mississippi. The app quantifies how natural habitats including oyster and coral reefs, marshes, mangroves, beach dunes and seagrass beds protect coastal areas by decreasing wave-induced erosion and inundation. The latest version is set to be released later this month in Southeast Florida. The Coastal Resilience tool and Coastal Defense app have been used on a wide range of risk reduction and adaptation solution applications both domestically and globally, including in the Hurricane Sandy affect region, and in our own Puget Sound.
In Puget Sound the Coastal Defense app has been used to help reduce the risk of flooding from wave height and energy by promoting the use of coastal habitats instead of or in addition to man-made barriers. County planners and the diking districts have the ability to model both natural and man-made infrastructure scenarios to determine the most cost-effective solutions that protect both tidal marshes and farmland. The app was specifically designed to measure tidal marsh impacts on reducing harsh wave energy while decreasing the risk of erosion and overtopping to levees in Skagit Bay. See the app in Puget Sound at http://maps.coastalresilience.org/pugetsound.
“Coastal Defense is among a suite of apps in the Coastal Resilience tool that helps communities assess risk and vulnerability and identify conservation, restoration and adaptation solutions,” says lead coastal resilience manager Zach Ferdana of The Nature Conservancy. “Providing tools to understand and clearly communicate how our natural resources increase coastal resilience is a part of the solution in addressing hazards such as storm surge and sea level rise.”
*This coordinated approach will also help identify projects that could receive both salmon recovery and flood risk reduction funding.
For more information about this award-winning app, click here.
See press release of award and recognition of disaster resilience apps here.
To see where the Coastal Resilience tool exists around the world, click here.
For a simulation to get better acquainted with some of the tools, click here.
Big thanks to CHRN member and TNC lead coastal resilience manager Zach Ferdana for his additional input and information for this post!
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