MASGC Project Impacts

Waveland, Mississippi incorporates sea level rise risks in hazard mitigation plans


The impacts of sea level rise over a 100-year period could affect as much as 20% of the city of Waveland, Mississippi. The majority of the northwestern portion of the city will be lost to the Jordan River. In order to plan for future land use, it is important that the city consider risks associated with sea level rise and storm surge inundation not only from the Gulfside, but also the northern parts of the city where waters will be funneled as a result of the close proximity to St. Louis Bay. 


In partnership with AMEC Environmental and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC), Waveland, Mississippi included sea-level rise adaptation strategies in their 2013 updated Hazard Mitigation Plan. Waveland focused on the creation of maps to visualize future scenarios with increased sea level rise. With data collected by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center and the NOAA Sea Level Rise Viewer, Waveland, Mississippi was able to produce localized maps showing potential sea level rise inundation at 1-, 3- and 6-foot intervals.


With technical assistance from MASGC, the city was able to estimate loss values of parcels of land that could potentially be affected by rising waters in these three scenarios. The city was also able to evaluate the placement of current critical facilities and make recommendations for elevation of certain structures. Planning for future scenarios earned their community additional points in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System, which will reduce their risk to future storms and the premiums for their residents.


With funding from Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, Waveland, Mississippi created maps to visualize future sea level rise scenarios and incorporated this new knowledge into their 2013 hazard mitigation plan which was approved by FEMA. (2014)