A “Whole of Government, Whole of Community” Approach
Several initiatives to address sea level rise are already in progress at varying levels of government, and across the community, but there is currently no coordination across these disparate efforts. Effective regional planning to prepare for and mitigate sea level rise requires unified, coordinated planning efforts across Federal, state, and local government agencies and the private sector, with public participation in the planning process.
By utilizing Old Dominion University as a convener to orchestrate these planning efforts, this Pilot Project will close this coordination gap with a “whole of government, whole of community” approach. A unified approach will achieve an unprecedented level of cooperation between the Federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, regional and local governments, businesses, community efforts of the Hampton Roads area.
What is the Pilot Project?
The Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project is the first of its kind. This two-year project seeks to develop adaptive planning for sea level rise by combining the efforts of federal, state and local agencies with private industries and researchers. Using a collaborative approach, this pilot project will serve as a template for affected regions across the United States with the development of an intergovernmental planning body starting in 2016.
Old Dominion University combines teaching, research and outreach missions as the coordinator of the pilot project. ODU is where minds, research and intellectual capital come together to go beyond previous sea level studies, find results and effectively inform and engage citizens. Within the context of this project, ODU will be coordinating an unprecedented level of cooperation and collaboration between communities, private organizations, researchers, and governmental agencies of all levels.
Why Hampton Roads is the perfect location for this program
Since 2010, ODU’s Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative has facilitated research and education in all aspects of climate change and sea level rise. As an outgrowth of CCSLRI, the Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI) works to generate knowledge and reduce the negative effects of sea level rise for thriving coastal communities. To develop the practice-relevant solutions, MARI engages in research that produces the practice-relevant knowledge needed to cope with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on the coastal zone and the urban coast in particular. In doing so, MARI responds to the knowledge needs of a wide range of community stakeholders, including government, military, private sector, and citizens
The high rate of local sea level rise, the exposure to extreme weather events, and the complex socio-economic structure makes Hampton Roads a natural laboratory for climate change and sea level rise. MARI utilizes this laboratory and works with stakeholders within and outside the region to generate the knowledge that can enable them not only to reduce the negative impacts but also to utilize the opportunities in the changes to come.