Rising Seas Force ‘Underwater Homeowners’ to Mobilize
Jennifer Kaye
Associated Press
March 29, 2019

Artist Xavier Cortada started the “Underwater Homeowners Association” (UHOA) to help contextualize the threat of sea level rise and turn neighbors into climate-change advocates. Repurposed “for sale” signs in front yards display paintings of partially submerged numbers of feet above sea level each property is; the UHOA model is replicable for multiple communities online. While some are upset about the UHOA potentially negatively impacting property values, the hyperlocal advocacy encouraged by the group is already having an impact in the area, and the initial Pinecrest UHOA has met twice so far.

Read the full piece here and watch the accompanying video below.


How Will Retreating from The Sea Affect Our Health?
Jackson Holtz-Washington
Futurity
March 26, 2019

A new study found there are disruptive health, sociocultural, and economic impacts on communities faced with managed retreat, including mental health, social networks, food security, water supply, sanitation, infectious diseases, injury, and health care access. Researchers analyzed existing literature to examine public health impacts in eight villages needing to relocate due to climate change in Alaska, Louisiana, Washington state, Panama, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. The study finds that health issues received minimal attention in case studies of managed retreat and that further research is needed to understand public health impacts and facilitate population resilience throughout the relocation process.

Read the full piece here.


Climate Change and Migration Project Launched to Protect, Empower Pacific Communities
Lee Yacoumis
IOM, UN Migration
March 26, 2019

Enhancing Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region is a three-year research project launched by IOM and key partners to explore challenges associated with climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement, and planned relocation in Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Vanuatu. The project received seed funding from the UN Trust for Human Security. The project’s main objectives are to “support a regional human security-based response to climate change and disaster-related migration, displacement and planned relocation, ensure that migrants and communities benefit from safe labour migration where appropriate, and contribute to the evidence-base of good practices in these areas.”

Read the full piece here.


Terrifying Map Shows All the Parts of America That Might Soon Flood
Eric Holthaus
Grist
March 22, 2019

On March 21, the National Weather Service released its annual spring flood outlook, predicting that, by the end of May, nearly two-thirds of the country could see flooding severe enough to cause damage. Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center, said, “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.” Flooding has already caused significant damage in 2019, and several states and tribal nations have declared a state of emergency.

Read the full piece here.


Not Trusting FEMA’s Flood Maps, More Storm-Ravaged Cities Set Tougher Rules
James Bruggers
Collateral: InsideClimate News & The Weather Channel
March 19, 2019

There is a growing national trend of cities not trusting that FEMA’s flood maps incorporate increasing risks from climate change, which are intended to determine which properties are likely to be inundated by flooding in different risk scenarios. At least 22 states and hundreds of communities have more stringent requirements in place for new construction in 100-year floodplains than the federal government. FEMA announced on March 18 that it would unveil a new risk-rating system to incorporate more risks into insurance cost calculations for each property, but FEMA still only requires homes in the 100-year floodplain to have flood insurance.

Read the full piece here.


New INC Report: Can It Happen Here? Improving the Prospect of Managed Retreat by US Cities
Pete Plastrik
Life After Carbon
March 18, 2019

A new research report by the Innovation Network for Communities provides new reasons to consider managed retreat as a viable climate resilience strategy to city government and civic leaders. The report highlights 3 main insights: “(1) Many cities will not be able to avoid retreat, but they can choose what kind of retreat to have; (2) There is an emerging roadmap for generating community acceptance of managed retreat as part of building a city’s climate resilience; (3) Until more cities seriously consider using managed retreat, it is unlikely that crucial support from state and federal governments will occur on other than a sporadic, special-case basis.”

Read the full piece and download the report here.


Record-breaking Flooding in Nebraska is Visible from Space
Eric Holthaus
Grist
March 18, 2019

Record-breaking floods visible from space resulted in over half of Nebraska’s 93 counties declared a disaster area. The flooding was caused by torrential rainfall brought on by a hurricane-strength storm system, which melted large amounts of the state’s snowpack and overwhelmed the infrastructure in place. This trend of major flooding is simultaneously playing out across parts of seven states in the upper Midwest.

Read the full piece here.


Sea Level Rise in Bay Area is Going to Be Much More Destructive Than We Think, Says USGS Study
Raquel Maria Dillon
KQED
March 13

Typical predictions of sea level rise have been projected based on the assumption that the ocean will remain calm as it rises. However, a new study for the US Geological Survey (USGS) determined that predicted damage in California from sea level rise will triple with the effects of tides, storms, and erosion considered.  Two-thirds of the newly estimated over $150 billion in property and infrastructure impacted and up to 600,000 coastal residents flooded by the turn of the century is predicted to occur in and around the San Francisco Bay.

Read the full piece here.


Federal Flood Insurance Premiums Could Rise in Flood-Prone Areas Under Trump Plan
Christopher Flavelle
Insurance Journal
March 12, 2019

The National Flood Insurance Program covers the majority of households with flood coverage; membership has declined 10 percent despite the growing flooding risk due to climate change. A new initiative, which FEMA calls Risk Rating 2.0, will incorporate private sector data to give a more thorough and comprehensible picture of flooding risk for each property. Insurance rates are likely to rise in areas with the highest flooding risk, which could depress home values – a step some experts highlight is necessary for climate adaptation.

Read the full piece here.


How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich
Rebecca Hersher and Robert Benincasa
NPR
March 5, 2019

NPR investigated federal government disaster spending nationally and found that “white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth.” As climate change increases the frequency and strength of natural disasters, the dynamics of federal spending have the potential to mirror and entrench existing inequalities in communities hit by disasters. Economic and racial inequities are most pronounced in the context of urban flooding, one of the most costly and ubiquitous disasters.

Read the full piece here.


Flood-prone Cities Like Houston May Need To Start Buying People Out, Study Says
E. A. Crunden
ThinkProgress
February 28, 2019

A new study by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Texas A&M University, based on analysis of flood claims and flood loss estimation data resulting from Hurricane Harvey, posits that strategic, pre-emptive clustered buyouts are more effective and beneficial than ad-hoc buyout efforts after flooding has already occurred. Specifically, clustered buyouts were proven to be a cost-effective solution that created flood resilient areas capable of absorbing more rain. While the study’s results were focused on Harris County, Texas, TNC believes the study can help inform planning and increase resilience in other areas facing similar challenges.

Read the full piece here and view the study here.


Eroding Tuktoyaktuk: Every year homes in this northern hamlet are getting closer to the sea
Nick Faris
National Post
February 28, 2019

The Inuvialuit hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, located alongside Beaufort Sea in Canada’s Northwest Territories, is being subjected to erosion, sea level rise, powerful storms, and thawing permafrost, much like other coastal Arctic communities. While Tuktoyaktuk has not yet had to make the decision to relocate its entire community, as Newtok and Shishmaref did, four remaining homes in a particularly vulnerable neighborhood are being relocated further inland. This decision by homeowners to relocate comes after the first new road connecting Tuktoyaktuk to the rest of Canada was finished in November 2017, causing a large upswing in tourism.

Read the full piece here.


In Los Angeles, Climate-Change Gentrification Is Already Happening
Thor Benson
The Daily Beast
February 25, 2019

Communities moving as a result of climate impacts have the potential to alter the culture and socio-economic characteristics of receiving areas in a multitude of ways. Jesse Keenan, faculty member at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, began studying and creating a term for the phenomenon of climate gentrification by looking at the consequences of sea level rise in Miami, Florida; he is starting to see similar patterns emerge as a result of wildfires in California. Liz Koslov, assistant professor at UCLA, highlighted the complexity of the climate threat, noting that some people may try to escape one impact, such as extreme heat, and find themselves instead vulnerable to flooding.

Read the full piece here.


Climate Adaptation: As the Sea Rises, Communities Learn to Have Difficult Conversations About Retreat
Will Jason
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
February 24, 2019

The Climigration Network, with the support of the Consensus Building Institute, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy funded five community-led projects across the US to help communities find productive ways to talk about managed retreat and future planning, from theater to technical training to inter-community dialogues. Managed retreat is often accomplished through buyout programs administered by government entities, but it is critical to engage communities in the planning and decision-making that comes with retreat. Amy Cotter, director of urban programs for Lincoln Institute, says, “You can have the most well-designed buyout program in the world, but if you try to implement it top-down without a community’s enthusiastic participation, you are unlikely to succeed.”

Read the full piece here.


Study: Moving Ourselves Away From The Shoreline Is Hard But Doable
Nathan Eagle
Honolulu Civil Beat
February 22, 2019

A new report released by the State of Hawai’i explores the feasibility of managed retreat. The report outlines three main strategies to adapt to climate change and sea level rise - accommodation, managed retreat, and protection - and says that, “Presently, there is a realization that retreat is a necessary adaptation strategy in Hawaii along with accommodation and protection but the question remains how to implement retreat and under what circumstances.” The report calls for forming a statewide leadership committee to recommend the best way for Hawai’i to implement managed retreat.

Read the full piece here and read the report here.


Biggest Challenge of Relocating Swedish Town Kiruna Is “Moving The Minds Of Citizens”
Tom Ravenscroft
Dezeen
February 18, 2019

A state-owned iron ore mining company had been operating under Kiruna, Sweden, for almost 70 years, and, in 2004, due to the ground subsiding, Kiruna decided to relocate. The biggest hurdle planners and architects have encountered in this process is relocating the sense of community and history along with the town’s infrastructure and families. Given that the mining company has to cover the costs of relocating the town under Swedish law, it’s financial model is unique and unlikely to apply to coastal communities that will need to relocate. However, planners believe that that lessons learned around maintaining the community’s legacy could be applicable to other relocation processes.

Read the full piece here.


Homeowners Take Buyout In Riviera Neighborhood To Escape Flooding
Tyler Emery
WHAS11
February 15, 2019

Twelve homeowners in the Riviera neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky, have taken a buyout due to flooding. The buyouts were offered through the Metro Sewer District (MSD) using FEMA grants from 2016, 2017, and 2018. Five of the twelve bought out homes have been demolished thus far, with the properties then remaining a green space with no further structures built. MSD officials typically send out letters to qualifying homeowners in flood plain areas, but they have stressed that the process is slow moving.

Read the full piece here.


Clive’s Flood Buyout Program Could Total $11.3 Million Along Walnut Creek Floodplain
Kim Norvell
Des Moines Register
February 13, 2019

Clive, Iowa, introduced a voluntary buyout program in September 2018 to a severely flood-prone area, and about half of the eligible property owners have elected to participate. While 24 homes and business worth $11.3 million have requested buyouts, the city currently has budgeted $1.25 million for the program and is planning on purchasing 6 homes for the cost of $1.05 million. Properties are being prioritized for buyouts by the severity of damage and risk to life, and the city will purchase 3 additional homes in 2019 if they are awarded a FEMA grant.

Read the full piece and watch the accompanying video here.


The Feds Are Spending $48 Million To Move His Village. But He Doesn’t Want To Go.
Bill Weir and Rachel Clarke
CNN
February 12, 2019

Isle de Jean Charles was settled by Native Americans who had been forced from their lands, and it has seen 98% of its surface taken over by water since 1950. And while the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is making strides on its $48 million project to relocate families from Isle de Jean Charles inland, the residents are struggling with how to maintain their emotional, spiritual, and cultural roots. Louisiana officials are viewing this relocation as a “pioneer project” for other communities that will need to relocate due to climate change in the future.

Read the full piece and watch the accompanying video here.


Report: Communication Key to Solving Scituate’s Coastal Challenges
Ruth Thompson
Wicked Local: Scituate
February 2, 2019

Scituate, Massachusetts, participated in a Coastal Community Assessment conducted by Carri Hulet, senior mediator with the Consensus Building Institute, to learn more about what residents, businesses, and town officials think about risks and opportunities facing them as a coastal community. Alongside conversations of coastal adaptation and mitigation, managed retreat was brought up by multiple participants. Next steps are using recommendations from the assessment to craft a long-term, community vision for the Scituate coast.

Read the full piece here.


Climate Change and Mental Health: Clear Connection but Cloudy Action
Hanna Oosterveen
January 31, 2019
The McGill International Review

Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, a remote coastal Labrador Inuit community, has been forced to grapple with climate change disrupting their ability to live off of the land. A study assessing mental health impacts of climate change on the Rigolet community found that “being forced to find alternative lifestyles that are less reliant on the land has led to a loss of of ‘place-based solace’ and cultural identity.” The issue of climate-induced mental health challenges requires further research and tools to build up community cohesion and mindful adaptation strategies.

Read the full piece here.


We Have to Move Our Houses and Businesses Away From The Shoreline. But How?
Nathan Eagle
Honolulu Civil Beat
January 28, 2019

Hawai’i’s lawmakers face over 12 bills dealing with climate change this session, including measures discussing a carbon tax, integrating sea level rise into government planning and permitting processes, homebuyer disclosure if a property is in a sea level rise exposure area, and managed retreat. Senate Bill 644 would require the Hawai’i climate commission to designate areas in each county for either armoring or managed retreat. House Bill 461 would mandate a Sea Level Rise Relocation Program to coordinate mitigation measures, relocation, and site planning for public infrastructure and facilities.

Read the full piece here.


As Sea Levels Rise, Some Ask: “When is it time to retreat?”
Avalon Zoppo
Press of Atlantic City
January 18, 2019

In 2019, the US Army Corps of Engineers will be releasing a draft report of a decades-long study addressing flooding in New Jersey’s back bays and the cost of managed retreat from the coastline. Managed retreat is currently being employed by New Jersey through their Blue Acres home buyout program, but the program has not taken hold on the barrier islands for various reasons. Aside from homeowner reluctance to participate, officials on barrier islands do not see retreat as a viable economic option.

Read the full piece here.


Climigration Network Steering Committee and Agenda Setters Announced
Climigration.org

The Climigration Network is committed to strengthening and connecting organizations and individuals who think about relocation due to climate change. Now, at the outset of 2019, the network is thrilled to introduce its new leadership: an 11-member Steering Committee and a 23-member group of advisors dubbed the Agenda Setters.

Read the full announcement here.


Des Moines Purchases 78 Flood-Damaged Homes for $10.5 Million
Austin Cannon
Des Moines Register
January 10, 2019

Des Moines, Iowa, purchased 78 homes, mostly in the Fourmile Creek area, damaged by flash flooding last summer. Only 20 of the 100 homeowners eligible for the buyout program refused to participate. The city used $10.5 million from stormwater utility fees, rather than waiting on state or federal money. Each property owner was offered 110 percent of the home’s 2018 assessed value, with the average payout being $136,111. The $10.5 million is less than the budgeted $14 million the city estimated it would cost to buy and clean all of the properties.

Read the full piece here.


Pinecrest Garden Hosts First “Underwater Housing Association” Meeting
Andrew Quintana
WLRN
January 10, 2019

The Underwater Homeowner’s Association, comprised of residents who want to address sea level rise as a community, is the final product of environmental artist Xavier Cortada, who has been using art to engage the Pinecrest community on the subject of sea level rise for months. Meeting attendees came from all over Miami-Dade and from many different backgrounds, including politicians, scientists, fishermen, and students, to discuss their concerns about sea level rise. Attendees had properties that ranged from 18 feet to 2 feet above sea level.

Read the full piece here.


Retreating From Rising Sea, State Completes Purchase of Isle de Jean Charles Relocation Site
Tristan Baurick
NOLA.com
January 9, 2019

The Louisiana Office of Community Development finalized the purchase of a 515-acre sugar farm 40 miles north of Isle de Jean Charles funded by a $48.3 million federal grant. The Isle de Jean Charles community is mostly Native American, with about 60 residents currently living on the island. Participation by current and former residents in the relocation program is voluntary, and the site may become open to other communities needing to relocate from the Louisiana coast in the future, as officials believe it could host 300 people.

Read the full piece here and watch the accompanying video below.


As Seas Continue To Rise, New Jersey Buys Residents Out Of Flood Zones
Ivette Feliciano and Zachary Green
PBS Newshour
January 5, 2019

New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection started a program in 1995 called “Blue Acres” to buy out homeowners in flood zones at pre-storm value and rezoning the land to prevent future building. The open land has both conservation and flood absorption benefits. Blue Acres began as a $30 million voter-approved bond to buy 126 homes along the Passaic River. After Hurricane Sandy, the program received over $300 million in federal funds and bought 683 properties across the state. Blue Acres only does buyouts in areas where multiple homeowners agree to participate.

Read the full piece here and watch the PBS Newshour video below to see interviews with New Jersey residents, local politicians, and environmental experts.


Designing Boston: Can We Talk About Climate Migration?
Conversation hosted by the Boston Society of Architects Foundation
WGBH Designing Boston Series
October 23, 2018

CBI’s Ona Ferguson joined Armando Carbonell (FAICP), Darcy Schofield (MAPC), and Jeannette Dubinin (CPEX) to engage on the sensitive topic of climate migration/managed retreat. The main questions posed included: How do you even begin talking about uprooting entire communities? Who will pay for it? Who makes these decisions? Each panelist shares unique experiences from their work with climate migration.

Read the full description here and watch the WGBHForum video below.


Coastal Conservation League Surveying Who Would Take Buyouts For Flooded Homes
Abigail Darlington
The Post and Courier
December 29, 2018

The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League is conducting an anonymous online survey of Charleston County residents to determine lesser-known flooding spots and what types of solutions the residents would want to explore. The survey explores a possible new pre-approval approach to expedite the home buyout process, championed by the National Resources Defense Council and others looking to reform the federal government buyout process. As of mid-December, there were approximately 300 respondents.

Read the full piece here.


As Climate Change Hits Miami, Only The Rich Will Be Able To Protect Themselves
Mario Ariza
Huffington Post
December 19, 2018

Rising seas continue to plague Miami’s wealthier lower-lying areas, and prices are rising in higher-ground neighborhoods where developers are setting their sights, compounding a scarcity of affordable housing. In Miami, those higher-ground neighborhoods are largely comprised of working-class communities of color. An April 2018 study from Harvard University, authored by Jesse M. Keenan, Thomas Hill, and Anurag Gumbar, called this phenomenon “climate gentrification.” Miami’s City Commission recently voted on a resolution to study climate gentrification further.

Read the full piece here and watch the accompanying video below.


Planning for the Public Health Effects of Climate Migration
Maxine Burkett and Kevin Morris
NewSecurityBeat, Wilson Center
December 17, 2018

The link between climate change, migration, and health is strong, as recent research suggests a broader national concern regarding “climate augmentation” of disease as people migrate from the coasts to the nation’s interior. The authors highlight three main migration-related effects on health brought on by climate change: “(1) primary or direct effects such as injuries and death resulting from extreme weather events; (2) secondary or indirect effects from the increased geographical range of and populations exposed to new diseases; and (3) tertiary or delayed effects from disrupted health services for individuals in need.”

Read the full piece here.


2018 State of the Beach Report Card Released
Stefanie Sekich-Quinn
Surfrider
December 13, 2018

The Surfrider Foundation recently released their 2018 State of the Beach Report Card assessing 30 coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico on how current policies address climate change, shoreline erosion, and extreme weather. 23 of the 31 states and territories evaluated are doing a “barely adequate to poor” job addressing sea level rise, flooding, and coastal erosion. Surfrider advocates for greater funding of NOAA’s Coastal Management Program to help address these states’ shortcomings and plan for the chronic flooding associated with sea level rise and more extreme weather events.

Read the full piece here.


‘Retreat’ Is Not An Option As A California Beach Town Plans For Rising Seas
Nathan Rott
NPR
December 4, 2018

Aided by California Coastal Commission grants, Del Mar created a committee in 2015 to explore the city’s biggest vulnerabilities to sea level rise and increased flooding, and propose a plan. Three broad adaptation strategies were determined: protection, accommodation, or retreat. Realtors and homeowners reacted strongly to retreat being put forth as an adaption strategy, and Del Mar ended up passing a resolution banning future city councils from planning for retreat. However, Mayor Dwight Worden says, “If you pretend that you did a scientific study of risks and options in your community, but you didn't study retreat, your study has no credibility. It needs to be studied."

Read the full piece here.


Louisiana Program Offers to Buy Out Homeowners in Floodways
Associated Press
US News & World Report
December 4, 2018

The $1.3 billion Restore Louisiana program helping those affected by the 2016 floods is offering buyouts of up to $200,000 to homeowners in especially hazardous areas to transform the properties into open green space. The program is expected to cost $45 million to buy out homes in the floodway that sustained major or severe damage in the March or August 2016 floods and are in one of the 51 disaster-declared parishes. The program is also offering extra funds to allow homeowners to buy new homes in less risky areas, despite the possible depressed values of their floodway residences, and 450 homeowners meeting the requirements have been contacted.

Read the full piece here.


Tribal People Face Disproportionate Impact from Climate Change
Mark Trahant
Indian Country Today
November 26, 2018

The new climate report highlights that, while Indigenous environmental knowledge systems could help develop more comprehensive adaptation strategies, tribes are short on resources for adaptation, mitigation, and managed retreat. With many tribal communities in Alaska grappling with relocation, no federal plan exists to pay for tribes to relocate away from climate threats. “Finally, even if relocation is agreed on and logistically feasible, the challenges associated with maintaining community and cultural continuity often undermine the objective of the adaptation strategy, and models for mitigating the impacts of relocation on cultural institutions are rare and difficult to replicate,” the report reads.

Read the full piece here.


When The Seas Flood the Coasts, Expect The Biggest Gentrification Wave Ever
Erik Sherman
Forbes
November 24, 2018

“The potential need for millions of people and billions of dollars of coastal infrastructure to be relocated in the future creates challenging legal, financial, and equity issues that have not yet been addressed,” reads the latest National Climate Assessment report. By 2100, an estimated 13.1 million people will migrate from the coasts, creating an environment potentially rife with gentrification on a large scale.

Read the full piece here.


Climate May Force Millions to Move and US Isn’t Ready, Report Says
Christopher Flavelle
Bloomberg
November 23, 2018

Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, released on Friday, November 23, 2018, focuses much more on the prospect and consequences of large-scale migration compared to previous editions, asserting that, “In all but the very lowest sea level rise projections, retreat will become an unavoidable option in some areas of the US coastline.” The Assessment explores the complexity of the decision to retreat, saying, “Coastal communities have ties to their specific land and to each other…These ties can impede people’s ability and willingness to move away from impacted areas.”

Read the full piece here.


Rising seas give island nation a stark choice: relocate or elevate
Jon Letman
National Geographic
November 19, 2018

In the October 2018 IPCC report, small-island developing states are highlighted as being particularly vulnerable to global warming and sea level rise. The Marshall Islands are now facing the reality of planning for relocation or sinking resources into strategies to elevate their lands. Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine and other leading voices are emphasizing the importance of including local and traditional leaders in these conversations. Both relocation and elevation would have profound impacts on Marshallese ancestral land ties.

Read the full piece here.


US Army Corps Collects Public Input on How to Help Miami-Dade Reduce Sea-Level Rise Risk, Flooding
Kate Stein
WLRN
November 11, 2018

USACE is starting a $3 million, 3-year study to explore ways to reduce risk from sea-level rise and storms in Miami-Dade County.  The Corps wants to maximize local expertise to address unique challenges faced by South Florida that compound the effects of sea-level rise and climate change.  The effort kicked off with a meeting open for public comment that involved voting on potential adaptation strategies, including voluntary buyouts.

Read the full piece here.


R.I. received $280K from federal coastal resilience fund
Alex Kuffner
Providence Journal
November 9, 2018

The new National Coastal Resilience Fund, announced by NFWF and NOAA officials in Providence, is comprised of 35 project grants in 22 states and Puerto Rico, selected from 147 applicants. The fund includes donations from Shell Oil and TransRe, with money from the fund being matched by grant awardees for a total program value of over $67 million.  This pre-disaster money is coming after the US spent $306 billion last year; the National Institute of Building Sciences found that every $1 spent on pre-disaster resilience saves $6 in post-disaster recovery.

Read the full piece here.


Improving NC’s Floodplain Buyout Program
David Salvesen and Todd K. BenDor
Coastal Review Online
November 2, 2018

Many North Carolina homes flooded from Florence had been previously flooded from Matthew, and possibly even Hurricanes Fran and Floyd in the late 1990s.  Since the 1990s, 5,000 home buyouts have been funded by FEMA in NC, but these buyout programs remain voluntary and can have impacts on the local tax base and financial burden of local governments.  After Matthew hit, the authors led researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill in a study that identified potential strategies to improve floodplain buyouts in NC, including developing state-wide incentives.

Read the full piece here.


‘Living With Water’: Facing Climate Change, Cities Trade Sea Walls For Parks
Rebecca Beitsch
Huffington Post
November 2, 2018

Faced with at least 21 inches of sea-level rise by 2050, Boston has shifted its focus from building an $11 billion sea wall to adding 67 acres of parks and elevation along the water and restoring 122 tidal areas. While sea walls are still a tactic employed up and down the coasts, similar “soft solution” projects are also being planned in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area.  The article explores trade-offs to both sea walls and “soft solution” projects.

Read the full piece here.


Climigration Awardees Named
October 2018

The Climigration Network is pleased to announce that it has awarded $7,500 to the following organizations for Concept Development Support for Community-led Projects on Managed Retreat.

  • The Alaska Institute for Justice - Alaska Native communities working together to develop community-led relocation guidelines to protect their human rights.

  • The University of New Hampshire - Scientists, professional actors and facilitators using applied theater to help improve communication and understanding in communities facing managed retreat as a result of a changing climate.

  • The Lowlander Center (Louisiana) - A collaborative effort to design a dialogue between Bayou-Lowlands “sending communities” and inland-high ground “receiving communities.”

  • The Seabrook-Hamptons Estuary Alliance - First steps toward convening a community-wide conversation about managed retreat in the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire.

  • The Anthropocene Alliance (Texas, Florida, New York) - Resident leaders in four flood-prone, marginalized communities exploring ways to discuss managed retreat with their neighbors.

These organizations will use the award to catalyze the development of a project concept for community-led efforts that address the difficult topic of managed retreat. This award is one of many ways the Climigration Network is seeking to foster the development of locally-led projects that will help communities as they decide whether and when strategic, planned retreat is needed and how to plan for it.

About the Climigration Network

The Climigration Network is a community of practitioners driving innovation in conversations, policies, and practices, wherever  impacts from climate change are eroding the viability of staying in place. The Climigration Network was founded in 2016 by The Consensus Building Institute. The 2018 award program was made possible through a partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


Six Years Later, an Innovative Sandy Program Yields Resilience (and Lots of Frustration)
Stephen Nessen
WNYC
October 29, 2018

After Hurricane Sandy hit, New York’s Buyout and Acquisition program bought 108 properties on Staten Island, 229 in Nassau County, and 219 in Suffolk County. In the end, the State recovered over $83 million from selling the bought properties at auction to be invested back into resilience-building activities. On the other side of the transaction, homeowner response to the program remains varied, as people grapple with creating more resilient homes or relocating to a less vulnerable area.

Read the full piece here.


Rising Tides, Resilience and Relocation
May Wang
Harvard Political Review
October 25, 2018

Of the thirty-some Arctic coastal communities grappling with rising seas, Newtok, Shishmaref, Shaktoolik, and Kivalina are four indigenous communities along the Alaskan coast identified as especially “vulnerable [and] imperiled” by the Obama administration. While communities, such as Newtok, have explored managed retreat and relocation, avenues to adequate funding are hard to find. The article explores the politics of relocation as it intersects with indigenous rights in Arctic coastal communities.

Read the full piece here.


Government-funded buyouts after disasters are slow and inequitable – here’s how that could change
A. R. Siders
The Conversation
October 19, 2018

Home buyouts and retreat are an established process in US flood management, but as climate change and rising seas increase the threat of flooding, this process needs to become more effective.  The author conducted a review of eight of the largest US home buyout programs and identified areas to improve equity, effectiveness, and communication.

Read the full piece here.


As climate change batters US cities, some discuss ‘managed retreat’
Carey L. Biron
Thomas Reuters Foundation News
October 18, 2018

Faced with inevitable obstacles posed by climate change, some municipalities are responding to the challenge creatively.  Ellicott City, Maryland, has retreated from a section of its historic town particularly vulnerable to dangerous flooding; Mayor Shaver of St. Augustine, Florida, has begun the process of discussing managed retreat with major investors.  While federal funding and mapping efforts still leave something to be desired, towns like Hampton, Virginia, are taking steps to implement climate mitigation plans.

Read the full piece here.


Walsh calls for major investment to guard city against flooding
Tim Logan and Jon Chesto
The Boston Globe
October 17, 2018

Mayor Walsh rolled out a citywide plan to add 67 acres of public open space, build sea walls, and raise low-lying streets to help protect Boston’s 47 miles of coastline from damaging flooding. There is substantial overlap between this plan and the 2016 Climate Ready Boston plan, but funding remains an issue. 10 percent of the city’s annual capital budget has been pledged, and Walsh is pursuing a $10 million FEMA “pre-disaster mitigation grant” as well as investments from foundations and businesses.

Read the full piece here.


Climate change and the coming coastal real estate crash
Patrick Sisson
Curbed
October 16, 2018

The Sand Palace, one of few surviving houses in the path of Hurricane Michael, stands as a reminder of the increasing expenses and risks that come with owning, developing, and selling waterfront property. Economists have warned that coastal real estate crash due to climate change “could surpass that of the bursting dot-com and real estate bubbles of 2000 and 2008.” The article expounds on how the efforts to assuage a collapse need to come from the real estate industry, the insurance industry, the federal government, and homeowners themselves.

Read the full piece here.


Can a California town move back from the sea?
Ruxandra Guidi
High Country News
October 15, 2018

Imperial Beach, California, is considering the idea of managed retreat, going against the trend of many California towns reluctant to explore the option. Imperial Beach’s climate action plan, funded in part by NOAA and the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, explored options for managed retreat and is now in the process of being updating with community input. Even with the increased openness to the idea of managed retreat, funding remains an issue, as Imperial Beach does not have the funds to retreat, nor to fully implement other preventative coastal adaptation measures.

Read the full piece here.


City of Conway looking to buy homes damaged from flooding
Patrick Lloyd
WMBF News
October 15, 2018

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Conway, South Carolina, voted to extend their existing contract with FEMA to continue the home buyout program initially put into place after Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016. Homes will be bought by Conway at 75 percent of their value prior to Hurricane Matthew, the homes will be demolished, and as a preventative measure, no future homes will be built on those properties.

Read the full piece here.


Notre Dame releases climate vulnerability assessment of more than 270 US cities
Jessica Sieff
Notre Dame News
October 14, 2018

University of Notre Dame researches completed a two-year assessment of the current climate risks in over 270 US cities and created the Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA), an open-source, free measurement and analysis tool.  The aim of the UAA is to help cities prioritize inclusive adaptation efforts for populations that are most vulnerable to climate change, as it provides projected cost and probability of climate-related hazards in 2040 alongside sub-city mapping.  Data for every city in the US and Puerto Rico with a population over 100,000 is visualized on their online platform.

Read the full piece here and view the UAA database here.


Over 5 years, Kingston makes some waterfront resiliency progress
Paul Kirby
Daily Freeman
October 13, 2018

The Kingston Tidal Waterfront Task Force, formed in 2013, developed 24 recommendations to improve waterfront resiliency in the short and long term.  Ahead of the upcoming “Waterfront Resilience Summit and High Water Festival” on October 19, the article breaks down Kingston’s progress in implementing the task force recommendations.  One indication of Kingston’s ongoing efforts and implementation successes is its Silver Certification from the state of New York for its Climate Smart Community efforts.

Read the full piece here.


One of California’s most famous surf towns is threatened by rising sea levels that could overtake beaches and million-dollar homes
Peter Kotecki
Business Insider
October 12, 2018

In addition to the threats of longer wildfire seasons and dangerous heatwaves faced by California communities, Santa Cruz is facing sea levels that are expected to rise 4 inches in the next 12 years.  Santa Cruz officials are utilizing a $360,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation to identify solutions to beach erosion, but if no solutions present themselves, there is the possibility of abandoning parts of Santa Cruz.

Read the full piece here.


Maryland Offers Climate Change Education for Leaders
Casey Leins
U.S. News & World Report
October 12, 2018

As sea level rise and flooding continue to threaten Maryland’s residents, businesses, and agriculture, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) teamed up with the Association of Climate Change Officers to create the Maryland Climate Leadership Academy. Maryland DNR Secretary Mark Belton was interviewed to discuss the scope of the Academy and how it is designed to help decision-makers better address the impacts of climate change.

Read the full piece here.


Age of Migration 1: Time to face it
Alex Diaz Eco
The Resilience Journal
October 8, 2018

This first installment in TRJ’s two-part “Age of Migration” series explores climigration and managed-retreat through both granular and global perspectives. Interviewees Carri Hulet, Climigration Network Director; Professor Elizabeth Rush, author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore; and Mariam Traore Chazalnoël, environment and climate change specialist at the UN’s International Organization for Migration, offer specific examples and case studies from their work.

Read more here and watch the complete interview below, featuring Climigration Network Director Carri Hulet.


Climate Reports Warns Of Extreme Weather, Displacement of Millions Without Action
Christopher Joyce
NPR
October 8, 2018

The IPCC reports that the pledges made in Paris 2015 are not significant enough to prevent global warming from rising more than 1.5 °C, which would require unprecedented changes by countries around the globe.  And while the path to limiting global warming is not clear, the consequences of warming above 1.5 °C are evident and extreme.

Read the full piece here.


Why the Wilder Storms? It’s a ‘Loaded Dice’ Problem
Somini Sengupta
The New York Times
October 5, 2018

Global warming is creating more extreme, more frequent weather events, and the consequences far outlast the storms themselves.  An estimated 21 million people have been displaced by floods and storms annually in the past decade, thrice the number displaced by conflict.  From illness through economic downturn, displacement, and death, the consequences are wide-ranging and not easily avoided, even when the science is there.

Read the full piece here.


Virginia has a fund to help people prepare for sea level rise.  The only problem?  It has no money.
Peter Coutu
Virginia Pilot
October 5, 2018

Driven by FEMA’s grant backlog for properties repeatedly damaged by flooding, Virginia passed legislation in 2016 to create a loan program to help homeowners and businesses address the issues posed by sea level rise and compounded by land subsidence.  However, this legislation remains unfunded two years later. The Virginia Conservation Network is now calling for $50 million annually for the Virginia Shoreline Resiliency Fund.

Read the full piece here.


Exodus: Every Day You Become More Desperate
Anna-Catherine Brigida
The Weather Channel
October 4, 2018

This article explores the increasing difficulties faced by farmers in Central America’s Dry Corridor, as droughts become more frequent and extreme, food insecurity intensifies, and migration has risen.  This pattern seems to fall in line with the general consensus that adverse climate conditions and extreme weather drive people to migrate, especially coupled with the economic and political marginalization experienced by many Dry Corridor residents.

Read the full piece here.


From London to Shanghai, world’s sinking cities face devastating floods
Fiona Harvey
The Guardian
October 4, 2018

Ahead of the IPCC convening, a new report from Christian Aid warns that many global cities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to more extreme weather and flooding brought on by climate change.  Looking in depth at a 1.5 °C rise in eight major cities, the report argues that poor development choices are compounding vulnerabilities to climate change.

Read the full piece here.


In Poor Neighborhoods, Add Rising Seas to List of Housing Woes
Molly Peterson
KQED
October 3, 2018

In the Bay Area, rising sea level is compounding the issues of environmental contamination and housing scarcity for the economically vulnerable, many of whom are people of color.  There are calls for inclusivity and differing perspectives in how to address these community issues, with the recent Resilient By Design competition highlighting new strategies to adapt to sea level rise.

Read the full piece here.


Hurricane Florence damaged 11,000 more homes due to sea level rise
Kyla Mandel
ThinkProgress
September 25, 2018

According to new data analysis done by the First Street Foundation, 20 percent, or 11,000, of the homes damaged by Hurricane Florence are directly tied to rising sea levels since 1970.  As sea levels and the severity of storms rise, costs are also increasing, with Florence racking up billions in insured losses.  Coupled with climate change, housing development patterns in the Carolinas can be linked to the increased damages as well.

Read the full piece here.


‘We’re moving to higher ground’: America’s era of climate mass migration is here
Oliver Milman
The Guardian
September 24, 2018

Coastal states continue to face down increasing pressures due to climate change, including gradual sea level rise and dramatic weather events.  In the coming decades, hundreds of thousands of homes and millions of Americans will be threatened, but not all those who need to relocate will have the means.  This climate migration event is predicted to exceed the scale of the Great Migration; it has already begun in places such as Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana.

Read the full piece here.


Hurricane Florence’s floods caused severe property damage. Here’s a solution.
Miyuki Hino, Katharine J. Mach, and Christopher B. Field
Vox
September 19, 2018

Estimated damages from Hurricane Florence range from $17 to $22 billion; sea level rise is predicted to threaten 4 to 13 million US residents this century, with residents in coastal states such as the Carolinas already feeling the impact.  Managed retreat is one strategy in the arsenal to help mitigate the threats of climate change - a strategy the US has yet to implement comprehensively.

Read the full piece here.


Exodus: ‘I Still Feel Lost’
Marcus Stern
The Weather Channel
September 19, 2018

After tens of thousands Puerto Ricans were forced to flee their homes, the reverberations of Hurricane Maria are still felt in Puerto Rico through issues with power, water, communications, and more.  As this ordeal continues, the shortcomings in Puerto Rico’s resiliency to extreme weather events, the obstacles to FEMA’s responsiveness, and the growing potential for climate migration events in the future have been brought to light.  This article catalogues personal stories of exodus alongside coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

Read the full piece here.


Climate change: we need to start moving people away from some coastal areas, warns scientist
Luciana Esteves
The Conversation
September 13, 2018

Climate change mitigation efforts are fraught with trade-offs, and ongoing resiliency efforts are often limited in scope or unsuited for high-risk areas. In said high-risk areas, relocation presents as the safe climate-proof response. Associate Professor Esteves provides a brief analysis of relocation case studies and highlights the importance of engaging local communities from the outset and encouraging open and inclusive debate.

Read the full piece here.


North Carolina, Warned of Rising Seas, Chose to Favor Development
John Schwartz and Richard Fausset
The New York Times
September 12, 2018

As Hurricane Florence bears down on North Carolina, it is drawing national attention to a 2012 state law instructing state and local agencies charged with developing coastal policies to ignore scientific models showing accelerated sea level rise in the interest of protecting property values.  Prior to this law and the politicized nature of climate change legislation in the state, North Carolina had a legacy of progressive coastal management, and it remains a hub of some of the nation’s most advanced coastal science. 

Read the full piece here.


Many Major Airports Are Near Sea Level. A Disaster in Japan Shows What Can Go Wrong.
Hiroko Tabuchi
New York Times
September 7, 2018

25 of the world’s busiest airports are less than 10 meters above sea level, with 12 of these major hubs residing only 5 meters above sea level.  The aviation industry continues to be one of the largest contributors to climate change, and it is beginning to face the consequences, which can take the form of rising sea levels, extreme heat, increased turbulence, and severe weather events.  Many airports are putting defenses in place to mitigate the impacts of climate change, even as greenhouse gas emissions from international air travel are predicted to triple by 2050.

Read the full piece here.


Is It Too Late to Learn From Alaska’s Fight Against Climate Change?
Mary Robinson
Daily Beast
September 6, 2018

Alaskans are being forced to reckon with the consequences of climate change and continued fossil fuel emissions earlier than their neighbor states to the South due to their melting permafrost.  This year, 31 native communities across Alaska are being faced with the choice to remain in place and attempt to bolster their defenses against climate change or come up with the requisite resources to relocate their homes and lives to safer land.  While FEMA is pushing adaptation to climate change, the federal government has not yet provided plans or broad funding to aid in relocation of these communities.

Read the full excerpt from Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future, published by Bloomsbury Publishing, here.


Welcome to Virginia Beach, home of the East Coast’s fastest-rising sea level
Christina Ianzito
Washington Post
September 6, 2018

Virginia Beach, the most populous city in Virginia and longtime tourist destination, is grappling with the ever-present threat of flooding due to the fastest rate of sea-level rise on the East Coast. While some flood mitigation efforts have been put in place along the oceanfront, including an intensive sand replenishment program, sea wall, and pumping stations, it is not a complete defense and many inland locations remain vulnerable.  Like so many other coastal destinations, Virginia Beach is dealing with the conflicting priorities of implementing intensive adaptation measures and maintaining their $1.5 billion tourism industry.

Read the full piece here.


In The Absence of Federal Support, Florida ‘Future Fund’ Aims to empower Local Climate Adaptation
Kate Stein
WLRN
September 5, 2018

Due to a lack of state or federal funding, the Center for American Progress and CLEO, a Miami-based non-profit, are collaborating to develop a plan for the Florida Future Fund to help address the hard consequences of climate change and rising sea level on Floridians.  The main focus of the plan are flood protection and infrastructure resiliency, with flexibility to address green energy, transportation system improvements, and tree planting. The plan, currently being shopped around to elected officials and candidates, would receive both public and private funding, with an intention to prioritize the most vulnerable communities.

Read the full piece here.


Exodus: No Place Back Home
Edgar Walters
The Weather Channel
August 24, 2018

As Texas continues to grapple with the damage done by Hurricane Harvey, the city of Rockport is struggling to bring back the roughly 20 percent of its population displaced by the storm, mostly lower-income workers that held up the local tourism economy.  Rockport must not only provide affordable housing to regain its lower-income workers but also prove able to withstand the more extreme storms and rising tides forecasted for the Texas coast in the era of climate change.

Read the full piece here.


Exodus: Hanging On
Bob Henson
The Weather Channel
August 24, 2018

Major flooding, a washed-out rail line, and a skyrocketing cost of living are weighing on the tourist-heavy economy of Churchill, Manitoba, the “polar bear capital of the world.”   While navigating these obstacles, Churchill joins the ranks of many smaller towns up the west coast of the Hudson Bay that are finding themselves semi-marooned, with no rail lines or year-round highways, in the wake of a changing climate.

Read the full piece here.


Sea Level Rise is Eroding Home Value, and Owners Might Not Even Know It
John Tibbetts and Chris Mooney
The Washington Post
August 20, 2018

Three separate studies have found evidence that coastal property values are being undermined by the threat of rising sea levels as home buyers and investors begin retreating to higher ground. Researchers discovered that properties vulnerable to sea level rise sold for at least 6.6 percent less than unexposed homes; properties at higher elevations appreciated faster than those at lower levels; and exposed homes in both Charleston and Miami-Dade County have respectively lost $266 million and $465 million in value since 2005 due to sea level rise and coastal flooding.

Read the full piece here.


Why Two Years of Historic Wildfires Haven’t Made Southern California Safer
Christopher Flavelle
Bloomberg BusinessWeek
August 15, 2018

As California continually faces devastating wildfires, regulators are struggling to balance safe and sustainable development with the intense demand to build in the midst of a dire housing crisis. Discussions of future building practices are further complicated by insurance rates that are affordable enough to encourage continued development of risky areas — an issue familiar to those within communities considering retreat from rising seas.

Read the full piece here.


Convinced erosion, not climate change, threatens their island, a community grapples with an uncertain future
Andrew J. Miller
Science Magazine
August 13, 2018

This review of Earl Swift’s “Chesapeake Requiem” — an account of the residents of Tangier Island as their homes and livelihoods are threatened by catastrophic erosion — attests to the difficulty of accepting retreat as an option when climate change denial is the norm. The Chesapeake Bay island known for its blue crab fishing has lost two-thirds of its land in the last 150 years, but residents believe that it can be saved with government-funded infrastructure.

Read the full review here.


Climate change will push millions from their homes. Where will they go?
PBS Digital Studios
August 9, 2018

This installment of PBS’s climate adaptation series, “Hot Mess”, takes a look at how global climate shifts prompted human migration 60,000 years ago, and considers the methods for adaptation and relocation today. Watch the complete episode below.


Chronic Flooding and the Future of Miami
Nicole Hernández
Union of Concerned Scientists Blog
August 2, 2018

Community organizer Paulette Richards of Miami’s Liberty City has become a vocal advocate for those experiencing climate gentrification firsthand. Before the term became commonplace, she observed it happening in her own community, and this piece covers a few of the issues that she and her community face.

Read the full piece here.


Entrench Or Retreat? That Is The Question On Plum Island
Simón Rios
WMBR
August 2, 2018

Massachusetts' Plum Island plays an important barrier role for the state, and as storm events and hazards intensify, residents there are starting to hear “managed retreat” more often. The Merrimack River Beach Association allows locals to discuss adaptation measures directly with state and local officials, but a coherent approach to retreat is still far away —  and locals aren’t keen to move.

Part one of this WMBR piece came out in June. Listen to or read part two here.


‘Managed retreat’ option dropped from Surrey’s coastal flooding strategy
Alex Browne
North Delta Reporter
August 1, 2018

Managed retreat was excluded after receiving “additional feedback from directly-impacted stakeholders from Crescent Beach.” The city’s strategy will instead focus on increasing physical barriers in the imminent future.

Read the full piece here.


Surrendering to Rising Seas
Jen Schwartz
Scientific American
August 2018 Issue

With testimony from a New Jersey homeowner who played a major role in post-Sandy buyouts, this piece walks through the lengthy and difficult process of retreat for those who live through it. It also discusses how the buyout program — historically used for regular flooding in riverine communities and not as a disaster recovery method — has become a major tool in climate adaptation strategies.

Read the full piece here.


Your flood insurance premium is going up again, and that’s only the beginning
Alex Harris
Miami Herald
July 24, 2018

FEMA is considering changes to its National Flood Insurance Program that would base premiums on actual risk, slashing subsidies for many coastal communities that suffer repeated flooding. This would push flood insurance premiums up drastically, and is designed in part to dig the NFIP out of its $20 billion debt from paying out far more each year than it earns. It would also make maintaining property in high-risk areas untenable for many people, and could drastically impact coastal development.

Read the full piece here.


U.N. pact offers hope to world's climate migrants
Lin Taylor
Reuters
July 19, 2018

In a recent compact designed to form an international migration strategy, the UN recognized climate change as one of the major drivers. Motivation for the compact began in part after the European migration crisis of 2015, which included “the biggest influx of refugees and migrants since World War Two”. Hungary and the U.S. are the only two countries, as of July 20, to not sign on to the agreement. 

Read the full piece here.


Is It Time to Retreat From the Sea? A Q&A With Elizabeth Rush
Sophie Kasakove
The Nation
July 9, 2018

This interview with the author of Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore walks through the motivations for the book and the state of retreat nation-wide, from the perspective of the communities at risk.

Read the full interview here.


‘Climate Gentrification’ Will Deepen Urban Inequality
Richard Florida
CityLab
July 5, 2018

Covering a recent report by researchers at Harvard University, this piece teases out the major avenues hypothesized for climate gentrification in Miami — where investors begin focusing capital in higher elevations; when climate change increases the cost of living, it pushes out the less affluent; and as areas are made more resilient, they become more appealing to higher-earners, pushing lower-earners out.

Read the full piece here.


Miami Faces an Underwater Future
Carolyn Kormann
The New Yorker
July 3, 2018

This article lays out the far-reaching socioeconomic impacts of climate change, and the complexity of populations retreating into less affluent areas, threatening further displacement — a phenomenon described as climate gentrification. Focusing on Miami, the two videos below document the personal side of these struggles.

Read the full piece here.


Climate Change Breaks Landscapes. She Remakes Them.
By Rachel Hartigan Shea
National Geographic
July 2018 issue

Landscape architect Kate Orff, a recent recipient of the MacArthur “genius” award, is working with New York State to redesign the south shore of Staten Island, after it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The design approach of Orff’s firm, Scape, is to create “living breakwaters” along the shore that will return the land to a natural marine habitat, while also providing public spaces.

Read the full piece here.

The project sits amidst an ongoing discussion about retreat by the residents of Staten Island, who since Sandy have been painfully considering the costs of staying or leaving. Some of their stories were profiled within the following New Yorker video, made in 2014.


Britain's biggest butterfly threatened by rising seas
Patrick Barkham
The Guardian
June 29, 2018

While retreat often comes up in terms of human or economic cost, it can also be an ecological effort. In this case, the British swallowtail’s coastal habitat is threatened by rising seas — if the land is turned into saltmarshes, the swallowtail caterpillar’s only food source wouldn’t survive. grow. Naturalists are considering how to relocate the swallowtail’s habitat inland as part of a larger “nature recovery network”.

Read the full piece here.


The Human Cost of Climate Change
Felipe Calderon
Newsweek
June 29, 2018

In this op-ed, Felipe Calderon — the former President of Mexico and Honorary Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate — anticipates retreat as a necessary adaptation strategy to rising sea levels. He emphasizes that effective migration requires accommodations for not just housing, but labor and resiliency within the receiving communities as well.

Read the full piece here.


Coastal resilience linked to national security
Rob Jordan, Stanford University
Phys.org
June 27, 2018

In a recently published white paper discussing policy measures to adapt to sea level rise, the authors point out that increased flooding can be a national security threat, given the proximity of many military bases to coastal areas. The paper is based on discussions with the Hoover Institution, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and considers how retreat might be coupled with national security preparedness, among other policy concerns.

Read the full piece here.


Coastal Communities, Watch Out: Sea Level Rise Threatens Your Homes
Anthony Brooks
WBUR
June 21, 2018

The Union of Concerned Scientists has issued a report that estimates over 311,000 coastal homes “are at risk of chronic flooding due to sea-level rise over the next 30 years”, spanning properties that total $117.5 billion. Despite this impact, the UCS report argues that it’s not reflected in coastal real estate markets, preventing appropriate response from investors to homeowners.

Read the full piece here.


Public to have say on 'managed retreat' of Matata for safety reasons
Matt Shand
stuff.co.nz
June 19, 2018

As dozens of coastal properties in Matata, New Zealand could be abandoned in light of “high loss-of-life risk”, some owners feel forced into selling after prior plans to protect them from flooding never came through. There are talks to gather central and regional funds to buy out homeowners at market value excluding flood risk, but the entire plan will be up in the air until a public submission window closes in September.

Read the full piece here.


Why people choose to stay in areas vulnerable to natural disasters
Journalist’s Resource | Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
By Chloe Reichel
June 18, 2018

By showcasing some of the major issues journalists face when covering communities that are considering or in the midst of retreat, this piece covers the human angle of climate change research, and discusses how to move from “doom and gloom” to motivating informed individuals.

Read the full piece here.


The dirty word in South Florida’s watery future: retreat
Jeff Goodell
South Florida Sun Sentinel
June 17, 2018

This opinion piece covers the “un-American” reputation of retreat in fast-growing metropolitan regions such as in the Miami area, and how politically problematic the issue can be when all other civic discourse focuses on growth, expansion, reliability and resilience. The piece also references a study by Mathew Hauer, on the geographic implications of climate-induced migration patterns, that can be found in our Reports section.

Read the full piece here.


Hawaii Gets Explicit about Sea-Level Rise
Jared Brey
Next City
June 14, 2018

Hawaii now requires that all future developments include sea-level rise analysis as an explicit part of their environmental impact statements. This could perpetuate ongoing trends of developers focusing further inland, even as the market still deems waterfront property highly valuable.

Read the full piece here.


How will people move as climate changes?
Earth Institute, Columbia University
Phys.org
June 14, 2018

This piece reports on a new study published by the journal Environmental Research Letters that tries to create a better model for predicting the number of so-called “climate migrants” in the near future, and where they may go. Focusing the study on Bangladesh, where an estimated 2 million people could be displaced by 2100 due to “permanent inundation by rising sea levels alone”, the authors of the study integrated climate impacts into a preexisting, “universal” model for human mobility. Pointing to the regional urban impacts of climate change, their study expresses the inevitable role larger cities will play in accommodating climate risks.

Read the full piece here.


U.S. Cities Need to Plan for an Influx of Internal Climate Migrants
Victoria Herrmann
Scientific American
June 6, 2018

This opinion piece makes the case for cities anticipating the stresses of migration, both in and out, due to climate change. Major cities often become the destination for populations forced out of other communities due to disasters or imminent climate risks, stressing public resources, while those that directly face those risks may need to include a coordinated exit strategy alongside climate adaptation measures.

Read the full piece here.


The Places in the U.S. Where Disaster Strikes Again and Again
Sahil Chinoy
The New York Times
May 24, 2018

By mapping the areas hit most frequently by natural disasters in the U.S., this piece questions the use of federal funds for rebuilding these areas, time and time again. The vast majority of losses from natural disasters occur in areas that account for less than 20 percent of the U.S. population. A series of infographics show the costs of the destruction, and timelines of the disasters.

Read the full piece here.


Buying out 400 Crescent Beach homes an option for Surrey as sea levels rise
CBC News
May 23, 2018

An interview with city engineer for Surrey, B.C., places managed retreat as the most prudent option for the community, which is projected to experience flooding of more than 6 feet due to sea level rise. While not necessary for a few decades yet, engineer Matt Osler believes it’s the best option economically and sustainably for the town, with the area eventually being turned into a wetland.

Read the full piece here.


Assessing Exposure to Climate Risk in U.S. Municipalities
Nik Steinberg
Four Twenty Seven
May 22, 2018

Four Twenty Seven, a “market intelligence and advisory firm specialized in the economic risk of climate change”, has created their own local climate risk score to try and identify the areas most at-risk. It also considers “economic sensitivities” that could intensify vulnerability to climate hazards, as a factor to consider for municipal credit analysis. According to 427, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida are the most at-risk of hazards related to sea level rise, with the California Bay Area and Pacific Northwest also ranking as “highly exposed”.

The report detailing their process and outcomes can be found in our Reports section.

Read the full piece here.


If You Can’t Censor It, Bury It: DOI Tries to Make a Stark New Study on Rising Seas Invisible
Adam Markham
Union of Concerned Scientists blog
May 21, 2018

A report by the National Park Service, projecting the impact of future sea levels and storm surges on 118 US national parks, became the subject of controversy prior to its publication due to proposed deletions of references to humanity’s causal role in climate change. The potentially deleted bits were restored for final publication, but only after DOI Secretary was questioned about it during a House Appropriations subcommittee. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the report was also published with little publicity — no press release or official announcement was issued, and the Union contends that there is “no easy way to find it unless you know where to look”. The report details landmarks that are at-risk due to rising seas — for more information, you can find the full report in our Reports section.

Read the full piece here.


Norfolk Wants to Remake Itself as Sea Level Rises, but Who Will Be Left Behind?
Nicholas Kusnetz
Inside Climate News
May 21, 2018

Norfolk, Virginia has some of the most flood-prone areas in the U.S., with sea level rise rates about twice the global average, coming in at 6 inches in the last 25 years. It’s also home to the country’s largest naval base, and most of the city rests no more than 15 feet above sea level. To try and build out of their vulnerable position, the city is considering a holistic master plan that integrates climate adaptation with economic development, and focuses on turning the city into a tech hub for future coastal solutions. Some are also concerned that development will leave lower-income residents behind, as some neighborhoods may inevitably be left to the rising sea.

Read the full piece here.

 


Del Mar considers unpopular 'planned retreat' strategy due to rising sea level
Phil Diehl
Los Angeles Times
May 20, 2018

Homeowners in the beachfront community of Del Mar, California, where properties can sell for over $5 million, are hesitant to consider managed retreat options, despite the California Coastal Commission’s requirement that cities have an adaptation plan for sea level rise that includes managed retreat as an option. Insistent that the city has an obligation to protect their properties from rising seas, many homeowners prefer other adaptation strategies such as beefing up the seawall and sand replenishment — however, if the city doesn’t also consider retreat, the Commission could refuse to allow the city to fund these alternatives. Moving forward, the city has decided to treat retreat as the last option of many.


Read the full piece here.


'Valued at zero': WA coastal dwellers face financial ruin as sea rises
Emma Young
WA Today
May 9, 2018

The Shire of Gingin, a coastal community in Western Australia with an eroding coastline, is facing a difficult future of near-obligatory managed retreat. State policy nearly dictates retreat as a necessary response to coastal erosion, and while funds may be available for acquiring residents property, relocating them is likely not on the bill.

Read the full piece here.


‘Managed retreat’ long-term approach to erosion
Murray Robertson
Gisborne Herald
May 8, 2018

Facing debilitating erosion along the coast, the New Zealand beachfront community of Wainui has concluded that the only viable solution is managed retreat. While the infrastructure administrators in the town seem set on retreat, there isn’t yet a plan in place for how to actually do so.

Read the full piece here.


America’s Last-Ditch Climate Strategy of Retreat Isn’t Going So Well
Christopher Flavelle
Bloomberg News
May 2, 2018

Retreat was set into motion in Sidney, NY seven years ago, after two particularly disastrous floods convinced many residents that rebuilding wasn’t simply a reliable option. Since then, despite a community willing to be bought out and the federal funds to do so, things have progressed slowly and unreliably. Residents becoming increasingly frustrated by their perceived lack of a coherent structure to federal retreat proceedings, especially as they see the community hemorrhage homeowners as some can no longer wait out the retreat process.

Read the full piece here.


Scary climate change scenario for Asia-Pacific
Rudy Romero
Manila Standard
May 1, 2018

A joint report issued by the Asian Development Bank, a major financier of rebuilding efforts post-disaster, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research anticipate immense pressures on housing and migration in Asian and the Pacific, due to increased hazards from climate change. This piece lays out some of its main points in reference to the Philippines; the whole report can be found in the Reports section.

Read the full piece here.