In early 2016, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded a three-year, $780,000 grant to the Cape Cod Commission and partners to develop a tool and public outreach program to investigate the environmental and socio-economic effects of local and regional coastal resiliency strategies.
The Stakeholder Working Groups were made up of volunteers, representing a broad range of constituencies and their interests and concerns with regards to subregions. Subregions were organized by water body. Representatives live or work within the applicable subregional areas and could represent the constituent groups and interests within their area.
Overall, 118 attendees from the four subregions participated in 17 meetings across Cape Cod.
Cape Cod Coastal Planner
DECISION SUPPORT TOOL
The Cape Cod Coastal Planner is an online, GIS-based decision support tool that integrates the adaptation strategies database, socio-economic analyses, and GIS planning layers in one place. Commission staff worked with Timmons Group in Virginia to develop the tool.
The Coastal Planner illustrates Cape Cod-specific strategies and actions, and make financial and value trade-offs explicit when selecting adaptation strategies and policies - including taking no action. Although it shares a lot of data related to coastal management, the tool is not meant to be used for engineering purposes.
Modeled after the Beach Vulnerability Index in South Carolina, Commission staff developed a "Vulnerability Ribbon" that illustrates relative levels of vulnerability to flooding, erosion, and sea level rise along the coastline. The factors impacting these levels of vulnerability include: distance of structures from the shoreline, presence of coastal beach, dunes, barrier beaches, and/or salt marshes; long-term coastal erosion rates from USGS and MA CZM; presence of coastal engineering structures; beach nourishment projects; and roads/structures that intersect with either the floodplain, SLOSH zones, or sea level rise scenarios.
The tool is now available to the public at www.capecodcoast.org.
If you are interested in learning more about the tool or training opportunities, please reach out to Cape Cod Commission staff at email@example.com.
Staff from the Commission and WBNERR recently completed a pilot project with the Town of Barnstable to pilot test the decision support tool with stakeholders in the community. The pilot project was carried out in alignment with the state's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program for Barnstable.
The objective was to advance the Town's resiliency planning efforts, to improve property owners' understanding of the threats of climate change and SLR, to identify the costs of doing nothing, and to determine the costs/benefits of different adaptation strategies.
In October 2019, Commission staff will roll out the tool to the four stakeholder regions to introduce town staff, consultants, and stakeholders to the Coastal Planner.
Cape Cod Commission