Through its Planning Project to “Consider Incorporating Climate Adaptation Information in the Biloxi 2012 Hazard Mitigation Plan and Developing Recommendations to Address Local Risks Identified in Climate-Change Projections,” Biloxi’s Project Committee will focus on accomplishing four objectives:
- improve the understanding of City officials, employees and the community about local and regional climate-change issues and begin the process of identifying how Biloxi can adapt to minimize damage to both the manmade and natural environments;
- identify climate adaptation recommendations to be considered for inclusion in Biloxi’s 2012 Hazard Mitigation Plan and in other plans, policies and codes;
- educate the public about the benefit(s) of a proposed requirement for one foot of freeboard above sea level (in anticipation of projected sea level rise, increased storm surge and more frequent upland flood events); and
- identify ways the City can cope with increased flooding, in terms of planning future stormwater improvements and/or retrofitting existing stormwater management BMPs (such as promoting use of rain gardens and pervious paving material).
To accomplish the four objectives of this planning project, the City Project Committee will work with MASGC and other collaborating partners to develop locally-specific information that will be provided in a variety of formats and shared with Biloxi residents and business owners.
Specifically, information and climate-adaptation recommendations being considered will be shared through:
- two public meetings (one in East Biloxi and one in West Biloxi);
- the hazard awareness information booth the City hosts at Edgewater Mall for 2-3 consecutive days each May (before the start of hurricane season);
- a City Council workshop that the public will be invited to attend;
- a new section in the Biloxi all-hazards annual mail out to each Biloxi water/sewer service customer; and
- a link on the City’s website and regular B-Mail information updates.
Furthermore, the City of Biloxi’s 2012 Hazard Mitigation Plan will be developed as an all-hazard mitigation strategy, incorporating the climate-adaptation recommendations developed through the public information phase of the planning project, and will include well-defined goals, objectives and actions.
By educating City officials, staff and the community about local climate-change issues, the City of Biloxi will have an opportunity to identify how public regulations and policies may be updated to minimize detrimental impacts on Biloxi stakeholders in the short- and long-term.