Coastal Resilience highlights

White House Council on Environmental Quality releases NEW FACT SHEET: Building community resilience by strengthening America’s natural resources and supporting green infrastructure

Today the White House released a new fact sheet highlighting natural resources as adaptation solutions to climate change. Coastal Resilience is expanding domestically and internationally to address coastal risk and vulnerability by providing viable natural adaptation solutions. The fact sheet specifically points to our Coastal Resilience and our award-winning Coastal Defense app as well as work in Puget Sound on Floodplains by Design:

Supporting coastal resilience: The Nature Conservancy will expand its coastal resilience tools and assistance program to Virginia, California, North Carolina, and Baja California in Mexico to help planners, businesses, and officials make decisions that utilize natural systems as adaptation solutions to improve climate resilience.

Expanding a Coastal Resilience App: The Nature Conservancy, with its partners, is expanding the deployment of its award-winning app, Coastal Defense, which helps decision makers identify areas at risk of coastal erosion and inundation from wave action and storm surge and determine appropriate strategies for utilizing natural and built systems to improve resilience. New regions to use the app include South Florida, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, the Caribbean, and sites in the Gulf of Mexico.

Reducing flood risk in Puget Sound: The Nature Conservancy, Puget Sound Partnership, and the Washington Department of Ecology are accelerating actions within their Floodplains by Design partnership to restore habitat and reduce flood risk in Puget Sound’s major river corridors. As part of this effort, a new agreement with CH2M Hill, with funding from the Boeing Company, will measure the benefits of natural infrastructure design.

Coastal Defense App Wins Esri Global Disaster Resilience Challenge

On September 23rd during Climate Week in New York, The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR along with Esri) announced that the Coastal Defense app, part of the Coastal Resilience tool, won the award for best Professional and Scientific App for disaster risk reduction. See the UN press release

Wahlström, Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, said: “Technology and science have a role to play in making the planet a safer and more resilient place. These apps will empower people across the world to manage the risks associated with extreme weather events fueled by climate change which affect over 100 million people every year. Congratulations are in order to the winners and to Esri for taking this initiative.”

Jack Dangermond, Esri President, announced the award in a session on Resilience – which can be seen on UN Web TV. Jack’s announcement is around minute 34 or so…coverage on “Climate Summit 2014 – Multilateral and multi-stakeholder, Action announcements: Forests, Agriculture and Resilience.”


The Coastal Resilience web-based mapping platform contains “apps” that address specific coastal risk, restoration and adaptation issues. The Coastal Defense app quantifies how natural habitats including oyster and coral reefs, marshes, mangroves, beach dunes and seagrass beds protect coastal areas by decreasing wave-induced erosion and inundation. Esri has chosen Coastal Defense as the winner in their latest app contest in the professional and scientific category.


The app was developed through a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, the Natural Capital Project, University of California at Santa Cruz, University of Southern Mississippi, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

This award is sponsored by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), who launched the Making Cities Resilient Campaign to improve land use and urban planning for 1,800 participating cities worldwide. The contest was to design an app around one or more of the areas on the United Nations Essentials for Making Cities Resilient. Coastal Defense targets the Essential to “protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storm surges and other hazards to which your city may be vulnerable. Adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices.”

Esri is collaborating with UNISDR on the Making Cities Resilient Campaign and giving these cities access to its desktop and developer technology.