Ocean Springs addresses high-risk areas after sea level rise visualization reveals vulnerabilities
Rising sea levels, temperature increases, more intense storms, and greater precipitation plague coastal communities. Taking action to prepare for these future climate conditions requires localized data and visualizations to aid in making informed decisions regarding the best adaptation strategies.
The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium provided a grant to the City of Ocean Springs which allowed them to produce high resolution visualizations of sea level rise for the city and assisted their Planning Commission with identifying specific mitigation activities for reducing vulnerability to sea level rise and storm surge. The project included city management, public works, first responders, and planning commission members who worked together on a sea level rise committee that produced a report which included prioritized recommendations for future land use planning and infrastructure siting decisions.
As a result of the localized sea level rise projections and the information provided in this committee’s report, a prioritized list of infrastructure improvements, investment strategies, land use plan options, and first-responder tactics was disseminated to the appropriate city departments. Leaders are using the information to apply for funds, allocate funds (as they become available) to address vulnerabilities, and guide future policy decisions. Through use of this information, the city can provide better protection for its residents and fiscal health by protecting both the physical infrastructure and the quality of life.
Visualization maps of predicted localized sea level rise assisted the City of Ocean Springs in prioritizing infrastructure improvements, investment strategies, and assisted in future land use decisions. (2014)