Island County WA Sea Level Rise Strategy Study
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Island County WA Sea Level Rise Strategy Study

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  • Description:
    As discussions about sea level rise become increasingly commonplace and shoreline management regulations begin to consider its projected impacts, adaptation planning at the community level will be necessary to ensure coastal community assets and values endure. This study is intended to demonstrate the necessity and feasibility of coastal resilience planning, and to provide Island County, WA shoreline communities with a sense of the tools and resources at their disposal to carry it out and ensure a resilient future. This report documents conditions influencing shoreline planning in Island County, Washington at the outset of a 2019-2020 Sea Level Rise Strategy Study conducted in support of the County’s 2020 Shoreline Master Program (SMP) update. Information presented in this report is foundational to the development of recommendations for shoreline property sea level rise adaptation strategies and community-led coastal resilience planning, also included in the study. The report is organized to orient readers to Island County’s location, demographics, and economic profile; characterize the County’s shoreline ecosystems and development patterns; document County and community coastal flooding concerns; review potential shoreline impacts associated with projected sea level rise; highlight current sea level rise policy considerations;​and present sea level rise considerations planned for inclusion in future updates to plans, policies, and regulations. T​his report is organized in three volumes: Volume 1: Existing Conditions Report This report profiles Island County Coastal characteristics​, identifies County and community experience and concerns related to coastal flooding and projected sea level rise, and establishes planning objectives considered as fundamental for the development of adaptation strategy recommendations and community-based planning guidance. Volume 2: Sea Level Rise Adaptation Best Practice Report Volume 2 contains background research and case study analysis related to coastal adaptation measures in place along U.S. shorelines and abroad. This body of research ultimately informs a set of Island County-specific sea level rise adaptation recommendations applicable in the short, medium, and long term across the County’s various coastal community types. Volume 3: Community-Based Planning Report This report includes background research related to community-based planning drivers and best practices and presents a community-based planning framework and associated guidebook intended to support local community efforts to plan for coastal resilience now and in the future. These volumes collectively comprise the 2020 Island County Sea Level Rise Strategy Study and provide a baseline toolkit for individual shoreline property owners and coastal communities alike to employ as they work toward a resilient future. t is the authors’ sincere hope that this report is leveraged and improved upon as a resource for the development of coastal community resilience and sea level rise adaptation strategies in communities throughout Island County and beyond.
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