Hazard Resilience

Coastal Hazards Resilience Network

Kevin Decker, Coastal Economist

Preparing our communities for resilience along the coastline of Washington is a top priority of Washington Sea Grant. As the culminating product of the 3-year Washington Coastal Resilience Project (WCRP), WSG partnered with Washington Department of Ecology to create a new website for the Coastal Hazards Resilience Network (CHRN) that included a site-specific interactive “Risk Reduction Project Mapper.” The mapper offers users a way to learn about coastal hazards science, with the hopes that, through education and understanding, coastal disasters might be reduced.

Washington’s coastlines hold a plethora of economic, environmental, social, and cultural heritage benefits for our state and Tribal Nations. The state’s coastal areas are also heavily populated, thus making them vulnerable to natural hazards such as flooding, landslides and earthquakes. Climate change and rising sea levels will only compound the frequency and severity of these hazards, and far-sighted community planning and project design will be vital in facing these impacts effectively.

Another key product of the WCRP project was the sea level rise data visualizations created by WSG and the WCRP team, which produced updated probabilistic sea level rise projections for the entire coastline of Washington State. University of Washington Climate Impacts Group created a tool to visualize the projections, together the WCRP provided planners and jurisdictions with critical new tools for coastal resilience planning.