Envisioning a Resilient Oregon Coast: Co-developing alternative futures for adaptation planning and decision-making

Lead PI: Peter Ruggiero
Peter Ruggiero, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University

Co-PIs:
John Bolte, Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University
Daniel Cox, Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University
Steven Dundas, Applied Economics, Oregon State University
Jenna Tilt, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
Patrick Corcoran, Oregon Sea Grant

Coastal communities around the U.S. increasingly face challenges related to both chronic (storms, sea level rise) and acute (earthquakes, tsunamis) natural hazards. Planning for both types of coastal natural hazards in Oregon has historically faced barriers such as limited financial resources, lack of capacity at local levels, and slow-to-change policy and regulations.

The 3-year Oregon Sea Grant LEAF project is built on the premise that significant gains towards adaptation and hazard resilience can be realized by examining - and assigning value to - common resilience decisions and their trade-offs at varying scales (communities, counties, and the entire state). A transdisciplinary research team will develop, apply, and assess a transferable framework to improve coastal community adaptation and resilience to chronic and acute coastal hazards. This framework will combine deep stakeholder engagement, a powerful alternative futures model, and robust evaluation of policy and coastal hazard scenarios through expertise in natural sciences (geomorphology, coastal hazards), social sciences (environmental and resource economics, land use planning and urban ecology), engineering (civil infrastructure), and computer science (mathematical modeling). The project goal is to apply a transferrable framework to increase adaptation and resilience planning within Oregon’s coastal communities.

Researchers will investigate and evaluate objectives that include alternative strategies for chronic and acute coastal hazard mitigation, along with the distributional consequences, social equity, and consistency concerns of coastal adaptation and resilience decisions in coastal Oregon. The outreach and engagement objectives for this project are informed by a stakeholder advisory council of key local, county, state, and federal officials, NGOs, and academic leaders, and encompass strategies that illustrate community-valued, socio-economic costs and benefits with realistic implementation timeframes. Education objectives focus on training for a cohort of transdisciplinary students in the co-production of actionable knowledge for chronic and acute hazard adaptation and resilience, enhanced science and risk communication, and disciplinary excellence

Strategic Plan Focus Areas: Resilient Communities and Economies; Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

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