17 February 2010

LiveBlog: Jim Titus on "Can we prepare for a rising sea?"

Jim Titus, Climate Change Division, U.S. EPA
"Can we prepare for a rising sea?"
2010 Spring Environmental Geomatics Lecture

Words fail to capture much of this one - but the comments were offered to get us thining and not tp represent any official preferences for policy or funding decisions

No matter what you think about the science, let’s just imagine what we would do if it happens.

If you are a risk manager type, you probably have to think about that uncertainty.

There are generally 3 approaches - retreat, armor, elevate (you could accommodate, but how far does that really get you?)
3 factors for wetlands ecosystems: Topography, wetland accretion, shore protection structures

A rise faster than 2mm/yr presents the possibility of losing wetlands that can’t migrate inland fast enough.  SLR is now a threat to septic tanks and development linked with them, but that has also pushed development into tighter bands of development along the shore.

Is it a taking if the government says that you can't build because it is going to be underwater in 30 years? Yes.  But is it a taking if you can't build a bulkhead?

Long Beach Township - a govt nourished dune blocked someone's view and they got $200k

This summer there will be a new SCOTUS decision: Stop the Beach Nourishment Inc. vs. Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Texas has now recognized the rolling easement, but the state courts may still change things - Texas is unusual

Where you are matters: Maryland is changing from bulkheads -> revetments -> living shoreline

Take home:  Maybe we don't need to kick people out and we don't need to get tough, but maybe we do need to establish the rules of the game for a generation or 2 from now to frame the responses that they will have to take

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