Resilience along the West Coast: Scientific and Policy Innovations Strengthening Communities and the Environment

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The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and the Coastal States Organization invite you to a briefing on science and policy initiatives that are helping protect West Coast ecosystems and communities from erosion, sea level rise, and other coastal hazards. The briefing will showcase nature-based solutions, which can protect human lives and property while creating habitat for wildlife and supporting various coastal industries. These techniques can also be paired with traditional “gray” infrastructure to meet a greater variety of planning needs.

The panelists will describe the collaborative process between federal, state, local, and Tribal stakeholders in collecting, sharing, and acting on scientific data to inform policy decisions around adaptation and help communities define and achieve their resilience goals. These projects can serve as a model for other regions experiencing similar issues. Speakers for the briefing are:
• Patrick Barnard [INVITED], Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Dr. Barnard will outline the climate-related challenges facing beaches and estuaries along the West Coast and discuss how U.S. Geological Survey science, particularly the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS), helps communities adapt to reduce risk to lives and property.
• Charles Lester, Researcher, Ocean & Coastal Policy Center, Marine Science Institute, UC Santa Barbara
Dr. Lester will discuss the policy and governance challenges in balancing development and environmental needs, and provide case studies of resilience planning for California communities impacted by sea level rise and erosion.
• Jessica Fain, Director of Planning, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Ms. Fain will highlight the Commission’s recently adopted coastal management policies on environmental justice and rising sea levels, the award-winning Adapting to Rising Tides program, and a new multi-agency permitting team to expedite wetland projects in San Francisco Bay.
• Aimee Kinney, Coastal Law and Policy Research Scientist, Puget Sound Institute
Ms. Kinney will discuss the innovative Shore Friendly program, which provides technical assistance, permitting, and financial incentives to encourage private landowners to voluntarily remove seawalls and install nature-based shoreline protection on residential properties in Puget Sound (Washington).

The West Coast represents a wide variety of geographical features, development trends, and extreme weather hazards. This briefing aims to provide an overview of that diversity and provide specific examples of projects that protect both homes and industry, as well as showcase the legislation, regulations, and programs that help (or hinder) those projects’ success.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Amber Todoroff at or (202) 662-1892


2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Rayburn House Office Building

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