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Washington Sea Grant supports community actions that enhance resilience to coastal hazards by improving coordination

Coastal Washington experiences erosion, flooding, severe storms and tsunamis—the impacts of which will intensify with sea level rise. Washington Sea Grant (WSG) leads the Coastal Hazards Resilience Network (CHRN), a consortium of agencies, academic partners and nonprofit organizations to improve support for local resilience efforts. The state has progressive coastal management policies but has struggled to support proactive resilience efforts. With a grant from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, the Washington Coastal Resilience Project (WCRP) was a three-year effort that built on CHRN to improve risk communication and focus capacity and resources on resilience-related actions. In 2019, WCRP published a report to help planners predict how sea level rise will impact extreme water levels. WSG also held workshops to help planners use the sea level rise projections that had been published the previous year. The WCRP sea level rise projections have been incorporated into several coastal planning projects. King County attributed WCRP’s work with having enabled the development of regulations related to sea level rise, which have been proposed as part of the updates to its Comprehensive Plan. King County is also using the projections to develop other new programs.

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