Virginia’s Eastern Shore Coastal Resilience Tool
Cristina Carollo, Ph.D
The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Resilience program has worked in partnership with over 100 communities around the world on the uses and applications of nature-based adaptation and risk mitigation solutions. Projects around the U.S. encompass 17 coastal states and are an effort to enable planners, government officials, and communities to develop risk reduction, restoration and resilience strategies. Coastal Resilience practitioners are collaborating with engineering firms, the reinsurance secotr, aid groups and multi-national institutions to find viable nature-based solutions customized to meet specific needs.
The Nature Conservancy, working with numerous partners, has developed and customized the Coastal Resilience tool for the Virginia Eastern Shore. Coastal Resilience is a decision-support tool that incorporates the best available science and local data to enable community leaders and planners to visualize the risks caused by sea-level rise and storm surge on the people, economy, and coastal habitats of the Eastern Shore. The tool also supports the identification of nature-based solutions for enhancing resilience and reducing risks where possible. Examples of the data and tools developed for this project include high resolution storm surge models that incorporate sea-level rise scenarios, marsh migration projections for various sea-level rise scenarios, comprehensive historic shoreline change data for the Virginia barrier islands, a cutting-edge barrier island model that incorporates potential future climate change and management scenarios, and a Living Shoreline Explorer Model (LSEM) that considers conditions suitable for the use of soft and hybrid shoreline stabilization methods.