Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel: Coastal Resiliency and Sustainability: Evidence-Based Policy Implementation from U.S. Coastal Regions
(Natural Resource Security, Energy and Environmental Policy)

Friday, November 13, 2015: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Board Room (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Claire Connolly Knox, University of Central Florida
Panel Chairs:  Thomas A Birkland, North Carolina State University
Discussants:  Cathie Perkins, Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management

Building Adaptive Capacity for Resilience in U.S. Coastal Communities
Karen Baehler, American University and Jennifer Biddle, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Perceptions of Resilience Among Coastal Emergency Managers
Ashley Ross, Sam Houston State University

The U.S. coastal zone (10% of the nation’s land area) is heavily populated, contributes to the national economy, and contains hazard prone areas. Approximately 39% of the population and 23 of the 25 of the most populous counties are located in this coastal zone, which will increase by an additional 11 people per square mile by 2020 (EPA, 2014; NOAA, 2012). In 2012, coastal counties contributed $7.1 trillion to the GDP and 67 million jobs (Kildow et al, 2014). Since 2000, 16 hurricanes and 2 tropical storms impacted the gulf and eastern coasts costing the nation $414 billion and nearly 2,700 deaths. Lastly, the effects of climate change in these zones are potentially more damaging to the human and natural environment in the long term. Effects include fundamental threats to agriculture and fisheries (Lehodey et al. 2006; Lobell, Schlenker, & Costa-Roberts, 2011; Hertel, Burke, & Lobell, 2010); an increase in coastal population vulnerability to sea level rise, flooding, and storm surge (FitzGerald et al., 2008; Rahmstorf, 2012); mass migration or extinction of species (Pandolfi et al., 2011; Schneider, 2011); and an increase in alien flora and fauna species (Peters & Darling, 1985; Sala et al. 2000). With increased anthropocentric and natural pressures in these economically productive and ecologically sensitive zones, we recommend an interdisciplinary, evidenced-based, whole community approach to increase the resiliency and sustainability of coastal communities. Building the capacity of these communities is a complex process as it requires balancing social, environmental, and built systems while mediating incentives and powers employed by multilevel governance and economic systems. This panel contains evidence-based research from environmental studies, policy, planning, health, and emergency management perspectives at the local government level of analysis. The case studies (i.e., Gulf Coast, Louisiana, and Florida) analyze adaptive resilience capacity of governance structures and processes; coastal land use planning and policy implementation; coastal emergency managers’ perception of resiliency in disaster planning and policy; and health disparities in a social vulnerability context. Panelists provide policy and management recommendations based on the research findings. Two expert discussants, a practitioner and academic, will provide commentary, while the distinguished panel chair will facilitate the audience commentary.