A Proactive Approach to Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Sea Level Rise

Originally given at the 2021 GAWP Annual Conference by Craig Wells and Paula Feldman.

With sea level rise for the Florida coast projected to be over 6 feet by 2100 and fiercer hurricanes expected, coastal communities are growing more vulnerable than ever. Due to climate change, today’s 100-year storm will be tomorrow’s 10-year storm, or worse. Studies detail that every dollar spent on pre-storm mitigation measures saves a community six dollars in post-disaster recovery costs. So where does a coastal utility start in assessing the vulnerability of its critical infrastructure facilities to sea level rise and storm surge? What measures should be implemented to make a vulnerable facility climate resilient? What method should be used to time the completion of selected measures? Answers to these questions will be clearly addressed as part of this presentation.

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