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December 11-12, 2013
NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction 
College Park, MD

Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on October 30, 2012. It was the deadliest hurricane to hit the northeastern U.S. coast in 40 years and caused over $68 billion in damage, making it the third most expensive storm in our nation’s history after Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Andrew (1992). Over 650,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Storm surge reached as high as 12.5 feet at Kings Point on the western edge of Long Island Sound in New York. Superstorm Sandy is the most recent event to signal the urgency of preparing for climate-driven changes to the coastal environment.

(Credit: NASA)
(Credit: NASA)

Generations of human activity have significantly altered our planet and its atmosphere. Climate change has affected global weather patterns and exacerbated the frequency and intensity of storms. Coastal communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable to these extreme weather events due to rising sea levels, disappearing wetlands, and increasing development.

The coasts of the United States are home to over half of the nation’s population and generate nearly half of the nation’s domestic product. It is essential that the United States accelerate the national dialogue on the future of our coasts. As the international community works to limit the impending impacts of climate change, more must be done to implement adaptation and mitigation measures needed to protect our coastal communities and economic assets.

This dialogue on the future of our coasts must necessarily occur parallel to debate on federal spending and a re-evaluation of the role of the federal government. It is in this challenging context that congress delegates discussed climate change-driven impacts on the coasts and how to improve the resiliency of coastal communities -- both constructed and natural. Delegates examined national and local policy imperatives, means to enhance structural and economic resilience, and the application of smart use and development to achieve a resilient coast. International experiences and approaches were also examined.

The primary goals of this meeting were to identify critical infrastructure and policies to foster coastal resilience and promote an understanding of the new economic and physical environment in which we live. Delegates had the opportunity to discuss the future of coastal management with leaders in scientific and environmental management fields.

Summaries of presentations, findings, and recommendations of participants are presented in a special edition of the Renewable Resources Journal available here.

(Credit: University of Maryland)
(Credit: University of Maryland)
(Credit: NOAA)
(Credit: NOAA)



Howard Rosen
RNRF Chairman


Tom Chase
American Society of
Civil Engineers


Zoe Johnson
Maryland Department of
Natural Resources


Gerald Galloway
University of Maryland


Charles Chesnutt
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Marion McFadden
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Kathleen White
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Margaret Davidson


Howard Kunreuther
University of Pennsylvania


Lindene Patton
Zurich Financial Services


Dale Morris
Royal Netherlands Embassy


Howard Marlowe
Marlowe and Company


Jim Blackburn
Blackburn & Carter


Mary Munson
Coastal States Organization


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

8:00 am - 9:00 am
Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:10 am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Howard Rosen, RNRF Chairman
Former President, Society of Wood Science and Technology
Silver Spring, Maryland

9:10 am - 9:30 am
Congress Context and Goals
Tom Chase, Chair, RNRF 2013 Congress Program Committee
Director, Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers
Reston, Virginia

What is coastal resilience? Using Coastal Planning and Management to Advance Coastal Resilience.
Introduced and moderated by Tom Chase, Chair, RNRF 2013 Congress Program Committee

9:30 am - 10:00 am
Threats to our Coasts: Climate Change-Driven Sea Level Rise and Extreme Weather Events.
An illustration of coastal vulnerability and why we need to act.

Zoë Johnson

Zoë Johnson is the program manager for Climate Change Policy with the Office for a Sustainable Future at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. She has been actively involved in climate change planning and policy initiatives in the state of Maryland since 1998 and is the author of various reports and publications on climate change and sea level rise adaptation. She serves as key staff to Maryland’s Commission on Climate Change Adaptation and Response Working Group. The working group released Phase I of Maryland’s Strategy for Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storms, in 2008; and its Phase II Strategy: Building Societal, Economic and Ecologic Resilience, in January 2011. Using the Phase I and II Strategies as a guide, she is currently pursuing the development of state-level policy, as well as the execution of on-the-ground projects to implement a suite of natural resource adaptation priorities.   

Johnson holds a B.A. in urban and regional planning from Western Washington University (1992) and a M.M.A. in coastal and marine policy from the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington (1998).

Program Manager for Climate Policy and Planning, Office for a Sustainable Future, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Annapolis, Maryland
Referenced resources: [Forecasting Sea Level Rise for Maryland]   [Climate Change in Maryland]

10:00 am - 10:30 am
Discussion/ Questions

10:30 am - 11:30 am
RNRF Awards Presentation

Howard Rosen, RNRF Chairman
Excellence in Journalism Award - Dirty, Sacred Rivers: Confronting South Asia's Water Crisis, by Cheryl Colopy
Outstanding Achievement Award Chasing Ice, directed by Jeff Orlowski
Sustained Achievement Award Al Gore   

11:30 am - 11:45 am

11:45 am - 12:15 pm
What Resilience Means to Coastal Communities in the Face of Climate Change.
Best Management Practices to Manage and Enhance Community, Economic, and Coastal Resilience.

Gerry Galloway

Gerald Galloway is a Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and an affiliate professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, College Park, where his focus is on water resources policy and management. He is currently serving as a consultant on flood risk management for Army Corps of Engineers, the governor of Louisiana, and The Nature Conservancy’s Yangtze River Program and the WWF’s China Flood Management Program. In April 2010, he was named by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Fellow.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland, he served as secretary of the United States Section of the International Joint Commission (IJC), Washington, DC, an independent binational organization charged with preventing and resolving transboundary air and water quality issues disputes between the US and Canada under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. He has served as a consultant to the Executive Office of the President, and has assisted the US Water Resources Council, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, TVA, several states, and various other organizations in water resources related activities.

He has been a member of nine National Academies committees studying complex water resources and geospatial management issues. He is a member of the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board and its Disaster Roundtable. He served in the US Army for 38 years retiring as a brigadier general and chief academic officer of the US Military Academy. He holds a master’s degree in engineering from Princeton; a master’s in public administration from Penn State (Capitol Campus), a master’s in military art and science from the US Army Command and General Staff College, and a Ph.D. in geography (water resources) from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
Referenced resources: [Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative]   [Holistic Coasts: Adaptive Management of Changing Hazards, Risks & Ecosystems]

12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
Discussion/ Questions

12:45 pm - 1:30 pm

Afternoon sessions introduced and moderated by Charles Chesnutt, Coastal Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources.

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy. How the federal government is working to ensure resilience and mitigation in recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

Marion McFadden

Marion McFadden is HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s lead for Hurricane Sandy recovery.  She served as the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force’s Acting Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer until its sunset in September 2013.  She is a career attorney in HUD’s Office of General Counsel, where she serves as Senior Attorney for Disaster Recovery.  Since 2000, Ms. McFadden has advised HUD’s affordable housing and community development grant programs, including Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery assistance after 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), and Indian housing assistance.
McFadden graduated magna cum laude from Howard University School of Law and received a BA from Northwestern University.

Senior Attorney for Disaster Recovery, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Former Acting Executive Director, Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force
Washington, D.C.
Referenced resource: [Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy]

2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Discussion/ Questions

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
A Systems Approach Encompassing Natural Defenses and Resilient Structures: Innovative Funding Strategies

Kathleen White

Kathleen White is a registered professional engineer with over 20 years experience in the US Army Corps of Engineers. Kate holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering and a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is the Senior Lead for Systems and Global Change at the USACE Institute for Water Resources, where she is involved with a national initiative on water management adaptation to climate change. This includes a national assessment of how climate change will affect water resources planning and the management of the existing Corps water resources infrastructure in the future. Kate also leads USACE Campaign Plan Systems Approach. This multi-disciplinary program involving all mission areas of the USACE Civil Works and Military Programs is charged with effecting fundamental change in the USACE by developing and implementing an integrated, comprehensive and systems based approach in the execution of all its mission areas. This change incorporates anticipatory and adaptive management in the face of dynamic changes so the USACE will remain adaptable and sustainable over time. The comprehensive systems approach shifts the decision-making focus from individual, isolated projects to an interdependent system, and from local or immediate solutions to regional or long-term solutions.

Senior Lead for Global and Climate Change, Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Washington, D.C.
Referenced resource: [Executive Order 13653 - Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change]

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Discussion/ Questions

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm
National and Local Policy Imperatives.
What are current national policies? Are these policies wise or effective? What policies should states and local communities implement with regard to the coasts? What is the role of the federal government?

Margaret Davidson

Margaret Davidson is currently serving as the acting director of the NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Before joining NOAA, Davidson was executive director of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium from 1983 to 1995. She also served as special counsel and assistant attorney general for the Louisiana Department of Justice.

An active participant in coastal resource management issues since 1978, Davidson earned her J.D. in natural resources law from Louisiana State University. She later earned a master's degree in marine policy and resource economics from the University of Rhode Island.

Davidson holds a faculty appointment at the University of Charleston and serves on the adjunct faculties of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina. She has served on numerous local, state, and federal committees and has provided leadership for national professional societies. She has focused her professional work on environmentally sustainable aquaculture, mitigation of coastal hazards, and impacts of climate variability on coastal resources. Davidson served as the acting assistant administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service from 2000 to 2002.

Acting Director, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOAA
Silver Spring, Maryland

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Discussion/ Questions

7:30 pm
Screening of Shored Up
A documentary about coastal communities and sea level rise
H.J. Patterson Hall, Room 0226
University of Maryland College Park

Featuring discussion and Q&A with director Ben Kalina
Open to the university community and the public

Location, Transit & Parking Info:


Thursday, December 12, 2013

8:00 am - 9:00 am
Continental Breakfast

Promoting Resilient Coastal Practices in an Unsettled Environment
Introduced and moderated by Tom Chase, Chair, RNRF 2013 Congress Program Committee

9:00 am - 9:30 am
The Necessity of Risk-Based Management and Incentivized Risk Reduction.
Development in disaster-prone areas has not been driven by adequate knowledge of risk. A discussion of the changing landscape of coastal investment and development.

Howard Kunreuther

Howard Kunreuther is the Cecilia Yen Koo Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania as well as serving as co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. He has a long-standing interest in ways that society can better manage low probability-high consequence events as it relates to technological and natural hazards, and has published extensively on the topic. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and distinguished fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, receiving the Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2001. Kunreuther has written or co-edited a number of books and papers including Catastrophe Modeling: A New Approach to Managing Risk (with Patricia Grossi) and Wharton on Making Decisions (with Stephen Hoch). He is a recipient of the Elizur Wright Award for the publication that makes the most significant contribution to the literature of insurance.

Co-Director, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Referenced resource: [Insurance and Behavioral Economics: Improving Decisions in the Most Misunderstood Industry]

9:30 am - 10:00 am
Discussion/ Questions

10:00 am - 10:30 am
The Insurance Industry's Response to Climate Change Impacts and Its Role in the Transition of Coastal Communities and Economies Toward a Resilient State

Lindene Patton

Lindene Patton is chief climate product officer for Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich). She is responsible for product development and risk management related to climate change.

She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on Measuring Sustainability. Patton serves as the vice-chair of the Climate Change and Tort Liability Sub-Committee of the Geneva Association. She is a member of the advisory council to Resources for the Future's Center for the Management of Ecological Wealth (RFF’s CMEW). Patton serves on numerous government and non-governmental advisory boards, including the executive secretariat of the U.S. National Climate Assessment Development and Advisory Committee; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Financial Advisory Board. She is an advisory board member for the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. She is a member of the ICLEI* for Sustainable Governments Adaptation Experts Advisory Committee. Patton servers as an advisory board member to the Bloomberg monthly publication, the Environmental Due Diligence Guide, and the US EPA Environmental Technology Verification Program.

Patton is an attorney licensed in California and the District of Columbia, and an American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certified Industrial Hygienist. She holds a bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis, a master of public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a juris doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law.

*ICLEI  – International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives

Chief Climate Product Officer, Zurich Financial Services
Washington, D.C.
Referenced resources: [Unmitigated disasters? New evidence on the macroeconomic cost of natural catastrophes]
[Flood Insurance in New York City Following Hurricane Sandy]

10:30 am - 11:00 am
Discussion/ Questions

11:00 am - 11:30 am
An international perspective on sea level rise and options available for coastal and urban adaptation.

Dale Morris

Dale Morris is senior economist at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, providing economic and political analyses of US macro-economic, fiscal and monetary policy, as well as US federal budget, tax and appropriations developments. Morris directs the Dutch Government's water management network in Louisiana, Florida and California, where the focus is on a broad array of "sustainability" topics: flood protection, flood risk mitigation, coastal restoration, water supply/conveyance, ecosystem resiliency, climate change adaptation, and landscape design for risk reduction. Morris is a co-director of Dutch Dialogues. Morris previously served as legislative director and press secretary to two members of the U.S. Congress and was responsible for budget, tax, trade, appropriations, entitlements and energy/environment issues.

Morris is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Virginia.

Senior Economist, Royal Netherlands Embassy and Co-Director, Dutch Dialogues
Washington, D.C.

11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Discussion/ Questions

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm

NGOs, States, Local Communities and Response
Introduced and moderated by Tom Chase, Chair, RNRF 2013 Congress Program Committee

12:45 pm - 1:15 pm
Economic Realities of the New Post-Recession America and the Future of Coastal Management.
The need for new partnerships that promote smart use and development to achieve a resilient coast.

Howard Marlowe

Howard Marlowe is president of Marlowe & Company, a Washington, D.C. government affairs consulting firm established in 1984. He has over 30 years of experience as a lobbyist working with Congress and the executive branch.

Marlowe spent four years working on Capitol Hill as the legislative director for a United States senator and a counsel to a subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. That was followed by five years as an energy and transportation economist, after which he served another four years as deputy director of legislation for a major trade association.

At Marlowe & Company, he has taken the lead in the firm's representation of local governments, ports and airports, as well as small businesses.  In addition to his work with the firm, Mr. Marlowe is currently president of the American League of Lobbyists and has served in the past as president the League's Educational Fund. He is also a member of the Alumni Board of Directors of the University of Pennsylvania's Penn in Washington Program.

Marlowe received a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from New York University Law School. He has also served as a member of the adjunct faculty of The American University in Washington, DC.

President, Marlowe and Company
Washington, D.C.

1:15 pm - 1:45 pm
Discussion/ Questions

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm
The Role of the NGO.
How do you build community, exploit connections, and build excitement? What is the future of the NGO community in the debate on the future of our nation's coasts?

Jim Blackburn

Jim Blackburn was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. He was admitted to the bar in 1972, after graduating with his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School in Austin. Prior to this, he obtained a B.A. in history also from the University of Texas, and a M.Sc. in environmental science from Rice University. In 1998, he was the recipient of the Bob Eckhardt Lifetime Achievement Award for Coastal Preservation Efforts from the General Land Office of the State of Texas, and in 2001 he received a National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation. He was granted Honorary Membership in the American Institute of Architects in 2003, in recognition of his legal work associated with urban quality of life issues.

In 2004, his book The Book of Texas Bays was published by Texas A&M Press, featuring photos by renowned Houston photographer Jim Olive.

He is a professor of the practice and director of the Interdisciplinary Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability in the Environmental Sciences and Engineering Department of Rice University. He serves as a faculty associate for the SSPEED Center studying lessons learned from Hurricane Ike.

In 2004, he was named "Best Environmental Attorney" by the Houston Press. In 2007, Texas Southern University awarded the Barbara C. Jordan Community Advocate Award for his "unwavering commitment to protecting our environment and the health of Texans throughout the Gulf Coast region."

Partner, Blackburn & Carter
Houston, Texas

2:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Discussions/ Questions

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Coastal Zone Management and Community Resilience

Mary Munson

Mary Munson is executive director of the Coastal States Organization where she is responsible for advancing CSO's mission by advocating for shared state interests. Munson represents the interests of the governors of coastal states and territories before Congress, federal agencies, boards and commissions to support federal policy goals and objectives of CSO.

Previously, she was executive director at The Florida Conservation Alliance. She resided in Florida for 12 years where she set up the LL.M. degree program in environmental sustainability at St. Thomas University School of Law, and taught environmental law, natural resources law, and international environmental law. Prior to this, she served as the deputy general counsel at the National Parks Conservation Association. Munson served as national chair of the Everglades Coalition for three terms and as a member of government advisory bodies on fisheries, water management, climate change, and international trade.

Munson received a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds graduate degrees in law, environmental science, and planning from the University of London, College of William and Mary and University of Virginia.

Executive Director, Coastal States Organization
Washington, D.C.

3:30 - 4:00 pm
Discussions/ Questions

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Congress Wrap up and Discussion
Robert Day, RNRF Executive Director
Bethesda, Maryland


RNRF's Congress on Coastal Resilience and Risk was held at the newly constructed NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction at the University of Maryland M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland.

The center is located 1.5 miles from the entrance to the University of Maryland campus and approximately one-half mile from the College Park Metro Station on the Green line. The University of Maryland runs a free shuttle from the College Park Metro to the NOAA Center daily from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm every 15 minutes.

Driving Instructions: From Interstate 495, take exit 23 for MD-201 N/ Kenilworth Ave toward Greenbelt. Turn right onto MD-201 South/ Kenilworth Avenue. Turn right onto River Road. At the traffic circle, take the first exit onto University Research Court. The center will be on the

A block of rooms was established at the Marriott Inn and Conference Center at the University of Maryland.

The Marriott Inn and Conference Center
3501 University Boulevard East
Hyattsville, Maryland 20783


Extreme Weather Events: Limiting Federal Fiscal Exposure and Increasing the Nation's Resilience. Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. February 12, 2014. GAO-14-364T

Climate Change: Energy Infrastructure Risks and Adaptation Efforts. Published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on January 31, 2014. GAO-14-74.

Holistic Coasts: Adaptive Management of Changing Hazards, Risks, and Ecosystems. A Summary Report based on the 4th Assembly of the Gilbert F. White National Flood Policy Forum. Published by the Association of Sustainable Flood Plain Managers Foundation. 2013.

The White House issued an Executive Order on Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change on November 6, 2013.

Meeting the Science Needs of the Nation in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy -- A U.S. Geological Survey Science Plan for Support of Restoration and Recovery. This science plan was developed immediately following Hurricane Sandy to coordinate continuing USGS activities with other agencies and to guide continued data collection and analysis to ensure support for recovery and restoration efforts. July 1, 2013.

Climate Change: Future Federal Adaptation Efforts Could Better Support Local Infrastructure Decision Makers. Published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on April 12, 2013. GAO-13-242.

The National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee at NOAA has overseen the development of a Draft National Climate Assessment (NCA). Comments were accepted between January 14 and April 12, 2013.

Flood Insurance in New York City Following Hurricane Sandy. RAND Corporation Center for Catastrophic Risk Management and Compensation. 2013.

Unmitigated disasters? New Evidence on the macroeconomic cost of natural catastrophes. Bank for International Settlements Working Papers No. 394. December 2012

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative. Published by the National Academies. 2012.

Climate Change Adaptation: Strategic Federal Planning Could Help Government Officials Make More Informed Decisions. Published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office on October 7, 2009. GAO-10-113.


American Meteorological Society
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Landscape Architects
American Water Resources Association
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Association of State Floodplain Managers
Balmori Associates
Bates College
Biohabitats, Inc.
Blackburn & Carter
CDM Smith
City of Baltimore
City of New York
Climate Central
Coastal Resources Management Council
Coastal States Organization
Dawson & Associates
East Carolina University - Center for Sustainable Tourism
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Law Institute
Geological Society of America
George Mason University
Georgetown University Law - Climate Center
Global Interconnections LLC
Governors' South Atlantic Alliance
Kearns & West
Illinois Extension Disaster Education Network
Integrated Ocean Observing System Association
Johns Hopkins University - Global Water Center
Louisiana Sea Grant
Louisiana Sea Grant - Law & Policy Program
Marlowe & Company
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Maryland Institute College of Art
Matrix New World Engineering, Inc.
Maryland Sea Grant
Meridian Institute
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Morgan State University
National Academy of Sciences
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
National Association of Conservation Districts
National Association of Counties
National Association of Development Organizations
National Estuarine Research Reserve Association
National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure
National League of Cities
National Recreation and Park Association
National Research Council
National States Geographic Information Council
National Wildlife Federation
Nature Conservancy
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
New Jersey Future
Normandeau Associates
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Pew Charitable Trusts
Renewable Natural Resources Foundation
Resources for the Future
Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council
Roger Williams University School of Law - Marine Affairs Institute
Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Science
Royal Netherlands Embassy
Simon Fraser University - Vancouver, British Columbia
Society of Wood Science and Technology
South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium
Stanford University - Center for Ocean Solutions
Texas A&M University
Texas Sea Grant
Texas Tech University
Union of Concerned Scientists
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Research and Development
U.S. Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Government Accountability Office
U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Center for Satellite Applications and Research
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Office of Research / Climate Program Office
U.S. Navy
University of Delaware - Physical Ocean Science and Engineering
University of Maryland
University of Maryland - Center for Environmental Science
University of Maryland - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of Maryland - Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
University of Maryland - Environmental Finance Center
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School of Business
University of Rhode Island - Coastal Institute
University of Washington - Washington Sea Grant
URS Corporation
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Virginia Tech - Urban Affairs and Planning
Woodrow Wilson Center
World Wildlife Fund
Yale University
Zurich Insurance Group



Tom Chase, Chair, RNRF 2013 Congress Program Committee; Alternate Director, RNRF Board of Directors; Director, Coasts, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers



Robert Day, RNRF Executive Director

John S. Dickey Jr., RNRF Board Member

John E. Durrant, RNRF Board Member; Sr. Managing Director, Engineering & Lifelong Learning, American Society of Civil Engineers

Dick Engberg, RNRF Vice-Chairman; Technical Director, American Water Resources Association

Sarah Gerould, RNRF Board Member; Former Board Member, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry; Staff Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey

Albert A. Grant, RNRF Board Member; Former President, American Society of Civil Engineers; Consulting Civil Engineer

John W. Hess, RNRF Board Member; Executive Director, The Geological Society of America

Paul Higgins, RNRF Board Member; Director, Policy Program, American Meteorological Society

Christopher Lant, RNRF Board Member; Executive Director, Universities Council on Water Resources; Professor of Geography, Southern Illinois University

Chris McEntee, RNRF Board Member; Executive Director/CEO, American Geophysical Union

Howard Rosen, RNRF Chairman; Former President, Society of Wood Science and Technology

Nancy C. Somerville, Alternate Director, RNRF Board of Directors; Executive Vice President, American Society of Landscape Architects

Barry Starke, RNRF Board Member; Former President, American Society of Landscape Architects; Principal, Earth Design Associates, Inc.

Kasey White, Director for Geoscience Policy, Geological Society of America


Staff Liaisons:

Melissa Montagna Goodwin, RNRF Program Director

Christopher Goslin, RNRF Program Intern

Carolyn Tilney, RNRF Policy Intern


Special thanks to:

Adrienne Antoine, Program Manager, Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications Program, NOAA

Ana Unruh-Cohen, Deputy Staff Director, Natural Resources Committee, U.S House of Representatives

Charley Chesnutt, Coastal Engineer, Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Margaret Davidson, Acting Director, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, NOAA

Miriam Goldstein, Sea Grant Fellow, Natural Resources Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

Mary Munson, Executive Director, Coastal States Organization

Kevin Shanley, CEO, SWA Group

Kristan Uhlenbrock, Public Affairs Coordinator, American Geophysical Union


RNRF hosted a congressional forum on regionality at the Longworth House Office Building on June 9, 2014 to build on recommendations and ideas featured at the congress. Regional, systems approaches were identified as a strategy to efficiently bolster the resilience of coastal communities. Present at the forum were thirty-three congressional staffers and members of the NGO community.

RNRF Chairman Howard Rosen presented an overview of congress findings and recommendations. He identified a number of tools that can be utilized to increase the resilience of coastal communities, including effective land-use planning, shoreline and buffer management, updated building codes, and natural resource management. The insurance industry recommends risk-based pricing for hazard insurance to influence the placement and resilience of structures. Communities can utilize assessment tools to be more informed about their relative risks and disaster preparedness planning. Future investments can be made using innovative funding strategies. Improving resilience is a complex task that requires a holistic, systems approach.

Charles Chesnutt, a coastal engineer with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Institute, and Howard Marlowe, chairman of Alden Street Consulting, described the need for a regional approach to coastal resilience and the associated benefits. For the Corps, a fragmented approach to storm protection projects in conjunction with a shrinking budget jeopardizes the viability of the entire coastal protection system. Budgeting, planning, and implementing projects on a regional, rather than project-by-project, basis would significantly improve the Corp’s budgeting, planning, and implementation process.

A regional approach to coastal resilience requires a radical but necessary change from the nation’s traditional approach. These changes would reduce project operating costs, increase project effectiveness, and reduce risks to people, infrastructure, and the coastal environment. For example, coordination of dredge mobilizations, interagency cooperation, streamlined permitting, and coastalshed analysis would all support more efficient coastal protection. These actions are best pursued at the regional level.

Chesnutt and Marlowe’s PowerPoint presentation can be downloaded here 

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