Coastal Resilience

Helping Coastal Communities Build Resilience to Climate Change & Minimize Flood Risk

Coastal communities in the United States and across the globe face a growing threat from climate change and coastal disasters. Notably, climate-influenced sea level rise can lead to more frequent and damaging flooding from storm-driven surge and waves, as well as during high tides, or other “daylight” conditions, as well as the degradation and loss of coastal ecosystems. These disasters are exacerbated by rapid population and asset growth along our coasts in recent decades. Sea level rise poses existential risks to coastal residents, and can result in property damage and loss, adverse impacts on livelihood and local economies, and environmental and ecosystem degradation. In addition, vulnerable energy, housing, water, wastewater, and transportation systems, and other critical infrastructure assets are increasingly at risk.

WCRC researchers work with coastal planners in many regions, including Louisiana, New York City, San Francisco, the Chesapeake Bay region, and Ho Chi Minh City, to better prepare for future disasters and coastal threats, such as impacts of flooding on individual residents and communities. RAND leads the Mid-Atlantic Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center, which helps communities in the region become more climate resilient through improved data, decision support, and public engagement. Through the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management and Compensation, RAND researchers have evaluated the uptake and performance of federal flood insurance in the United States, with a recent focus on New York City after Hurricane Sandy.

In addition, for nearly a decade RAND has been a key partner in helping the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) develop its long-term Coastal Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.