6.3 From Products to Services: Engaging Beach Managers to Improve Coastal Resilience in the Great Lakes Region through Scenario Planning

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 11:00 AM
252B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Omar C. Gates, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and E. A. Theuerkauf, A. Phillips, A. C. Anderson, D. A. R. Kristovich, and L. Briley

Frequent heavy precipitation events and lake level variability are climate impacts affecting many coastal areas in the Great Lakes region. As part of NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program to help the nation prepare for and adapt to climate variability and change, the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) works with practitioners in the Great Lakes region to jointly develop climate information and decision-making processes informing partners’ long-term planning. With funding from the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) partners with GLISA to help beach managers understand the past, present, and future coastal changes for two sites in northern Illinois (i.e., Illinois Beach State Park and Waukegan Beach). This work aims to benefit beach managers and staff in planning for future scenarios where climate change is anticipated to cause drastic changes, such as shoreline erosion, to the landscapes.

This presentation will share the case study of GLISA’s work with ISGS and MRCC, and the scenario planning process GLISA does with Great Lakes’ partners and stakeholders in understanding climate impacts to coastal areas. ISGS serves as project coordinator and documents historic and current shoreline conditions, and MRCC provides observational climate data (e.g., heavy precipitation) that describe past and present climate conditions for the beaches. GLISA contributes relevant information from future climate projections and a framework for aiding beach managers and staff with the development of localized future climate scenarios. These scenarios utilize feedback and concerns from coastal managers, and the collective work culminates into a workshop hosted by ISGS, where GLISA facilitates four exercises guiding stakeholders through the scenario planning process. Outcomes and practitioners’ feedback from this workshop shape GLISA’s scenario planning guidance for application to new locations and sectors. By involving stakeholder participation throughout the scenario planning process, this project highlights GLISA’s practice of providing vital services for climate adaptation and resilience planning in the Great Lakes region.

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