A Risk-Based Approach to Reshaping Coastal Development


  • How to use risk analysis as a springboard for discussing changes in long-standing development patterns
  • What implementation options are available to change coastal development form
  • How to assess how receptive coastal area residents will be to taking actions to reduce future risk


Everyone is talking about how to assess impacts from climate change and the growing risk coastal communities face from natural hazards, but the question is: What can communities do about them? Increasingly severe and frequent storms, rising sea levels and subsiding coastlines underscore the compelling need to recast regulations, rethink existing development patterns and reshape coastal growth boundaries. The State of New Jersey is working with coastal municipalities to evaluate and reform its Coastal Zone Management Program to minimize future damage from rising seas and coastal storms. This course will describe an effective and replicable planning process that uses future risk and vulnerability as the defining principles of forward-looking coastal protection regulations. This process can be implemented by local, regional, and state governments throughout the nation. Speakers will explain the details and outcomes of the shoreline assessment and vulnerability analysis that were used to establish coastal development and redevelopment criteria. These criteria served as the framework for planning scenarios designed to minimize risks associated with projected flood exposure in tidally affected areas throughout New Jersey. Speakers will describe the challenges of communicating risk to local officials and residents, and lessons learned for facilitating these conversations in other communities across the country.