Assessing Financial Exposure to Sea Level Rise

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
January 1, 1970

Many coastal communities are still struggling to manage immediate post-Hurricane Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts. These towns face political pressure to rebuild as soon as possible, despite the growing realization that merely returning a community to its pre-storm state, coupled with sea level rise, will inevitably put more people and property in harms way. One of the first and most critical steps these communities must take to plan resilient adaptation strategies effectively is to develop a detailed assessment of their financial exposure to future flood inundation based on projections of sea level rise. This session will describe a fine-grained, parcel-based mapping analysis that New Jersey Future Local Recovery Planning Managers are performing in six coastal communities. This analysis predicts depths of inundation; models the resulting structural damage; and calculates financial exposure and potential municipal tax revenue loss. This economic analysis forms the basis for developing and prioritizing practical and effective recovery and adaptation strategies and provides a clear and coherent argument for reshaping coastal development patterns to avoid repetitive harm and losses. Perhaps more importantly, this analysis is forming the foundation for the very difficult but essential public discussion of the likely impacts of sea-level rise that some communities have started.

  • David Kutner, NJPP, AICP: Recovery Planning Manager, New Jersey Future
  • Christina Pollack, GISP: GIS Specialist, Princeton Hydro, LLC

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