The Congressional response to the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy represents a need to address as a regional system the vulnerability of populations at risk in coastal regions in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) North Atlantic Division. Along with a recent increase in high magnitude storm events such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and recent storms with larger areal extents creating larger damage areas as evident by the size of Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, as well as the reality of sea level rise as a probable future condition, there is a need to comprehensively evaluate the existing and planned measures to reduce the flooding risk from tidally-influenced storm surges as well as other alternatives for areas at risk to future storm damages.
The goals of the Comprehensive Study are to (1) provide risk reduction strategies to reduce risk to which vulnerable coastal populations are subject, and (2) promote coastal resilient communities to ensure a sustainable and robust coastal landscape system, considering future sea level rise and climate change scenarios, to reduce risk to vulnerable population, property, ecosystems, and infrastructure. The Comprehensive Study will include a coastal framework (submitted to Congress within 24 months) as well as storm suite modeling, coastal GIS analysis, and related evaluations, for the affected coastlines. The study will identify existing nature-based infrastructure, include an evaluation of the performance of nature-based infrastructure during Hurricane Sandy and other recent storms, and consider the performance of nature-based infrastructure in reducing the impacts of coastal storm flooding, as well as other impacts at a larger scale and as a system.
The Comprehensive Study will generally be developed by a USACE enterprise team. This team will be led by the USACE Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Planning Center of Expertise and will comprise planners and engineers from North Atlantic Division districts, the USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, and the USACE Institute for Water Resources, incorporating other USACE resources and expertise as appropriate.
Click here for a narrated overview the study goals, scope, products and schedule.
Click here for a scope synopsis of the project management plan.