The Environmental and Energy Study Institute announces their webinar titled Coastal Resilience in Alaska: Programs and Policies Helping Communities Adapt in the Nation’s Fastest-Warming State. This webinar will be held 21 April 2020, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This webinar will include a briefing on scientific developments and policy initiatives that are helping protect Alaskan ecosystems and communities from erosion, sea level rise, and other coastal hazards. For more information and to join the webinar, please visit the webinar homepage.
Alaska coastal communities are experiencing extreme challenges as shore-fast ice—a coastal buffer to storm water—disappears and houses built on thawing permafrost buckle and become uninhabitable. Stakeholder engagement combined with up-to-date scientific analyses on environmental risk are necessary to create adaptation plans that make economic sense while assisting vulnerable communities.
Coastal Alaska is facing rapid warming and corresponding environmental changes. This briefing aims to provide an overview of the area’s environmental challenges; give specific examples of projects that protect homes, ecosystems, and economies; and showcase the legislation, regulations, and programs that help (or hinder) those projects’ success.
The panelists will describe the collaborative process between federal, state, local, and tribal stakeholders in collecting, sharing, and acting on scientific data to inform policy decisions around adaptation and help communities define and achieve their resilience goals. These projects can serve as a model for other regions experiencing similar issues in high-latitude or coastal areas.
- Jeremy Littell (Research Ecologist (Climate Impacts), Department of Interior Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center) - Littell will discuss the changing Alaskan coastline, as well as topographic and other mapping data necessary to understand current risks and vulnerabilities along Alaska’s coast.
- Aaron Poe (Coordinator, Aleutian Bering Sea Initiative) - Poe will discuss his work engaging agencies, tribes, researchers, industries, and communities to plan for adaptation at the regional scale through the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) that were originally established by the Department of the Interior but now operate as public-private partnerships.
- Raymond Paddock III: (Environmental Planner, Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska) - Paddock will describe the process of collecting base-level data and carrying out adaptation planning within tribal communities in Southeast Alaska. He will further highlight the damage warming waters are having on traditional food sources and ways of life.