June 3, 2013

Research on global systems suggests that coastal communities and regions are becoming increasingly vulnerable to sea level rise (SLR) and climate change. As a result, researchers and practitioners are developing processes, tools and strategies for adapting to future impacts and the challenges to public safety, local economy and native ecosystems. This project will bring together environmental conservation, green building and historical preservation professionals to address implications for coastal communities. Such communities are among the oldest civilizations in the United States, which makes cultural and historic preservation an essential part of the national, regional and local initiatives on developing adapting strategies and best management practices (BMPs). Buildings are best representatives of the social, economic and environmental profile of a local community. It is of great interest to stakeholders at all levels to understand the potential threats SLR has imposed on buildings, the severity, and the efforts needed to mitigate such hazards. Unfortunately, there is very little literature in place addressing this issue, or there is no consistent records showing that a systematic and validated approach has been taken to assess the impacts of SLR on historical buildings in coastal communities.

Climate change is a global threat, but action implementation is local. In order to effectively prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change, local action at the state, city, or even neighborhood level must be coordinated efforts on a wider scale. There is a need for consensus on priorities, and to make collective decisions about what to spend money and time on, and on what to save and what to sacrifice. This project will identify community engagement methods that can be used to implement effective conservation and preservation strategies.

This Webinar will Feature Senior Fellows Esther Obonyo, Assistant Professor at the University of Florida, and Wei Wu, Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University.