Exploration of Local Sea Level Rise Planning Public Perceptions

Keywords: Sea-level Rise, Planning, Climate Change, Flooding, Preparedness, Resilience


Sea level rise (SLR) is a potentially destructive phenomenon to coastal communities, despite uncertainties surrounding its extent, timing, and impacts. Forces driving SLR include climate change and geologic factors, globally and locally. Information available to communities preparing for SLR will likely never be perfect, given the difficulty of planning through uncertain global projections and assessing local conditions. Communities will need to develop SLR plans despite uncertainties, balancing factors such as determining the scope of a plan, assessing funding options, and identifying conflict resolution methods. This study describes a survey assessing the range of public preferences on these three planning factors. Key findings include that public engagement may be effective for overcoming local conflict, that too much focus on government intervention could be divisive, and that there are a wide variety of palatable methods to fund planning and implementation of those plans. This research informs local planning to reduce SLR risks.