Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Empowering communities to create shared solutions

The Resilience & Adaptation Feasibility Tool (The RAFT)

IEN sea level riseLocal coastal governments face daunting challenges related to sea level rise. Current and projected conditions affect residents, businesses, and key national security facilities, as well as public health, infrastructure and economic development.

IEN is partnering with the William & Mary Virginia Coastal Policy Center and Old Dominion University to initiate a multi-university, inter-disciplinary academic partnership to create an assessment and response decision framework to assist coastal communities in evaluating risks to coastal flooding, prioritizing action to increase resilience, and identifying sources of technical assistance and funding. With funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the partnership will pilot The RAFT in 2017 with three coastal communities.    

The RAFT will begin by developing and testing a comprehensive community resilience scorecard. While most existing scorecards address environmental resilience, The RAFT will assess environmental, social, and economic resilience. In addition to local and state government advisors and Wetlands Watch, an impressive interdisciplinary academic team will advise the project, including six faculty from the UVA School of Architecture and Department of Environmental Sciences, two from Virginia Tech, and two from William & Mary’s Virginia Institute for Marine Science

Photo: The Virginian-Pilot