A while ago we reported that the US Army Corps of Engineers  (USACE) has a new engineering guidance that takes sea level rise into account in its civil works construction program. Well now they made the thing even easier with an on-line, web-based calculator. Just plug in the name of the nearest NOAA tide gauge and - voila! - the low, medium, and high rate numbers over the years appear.

This USACE guidance is starting to become the common reference point for federal agency work along the tidal shoreline and will gradually work its way into other levels of government and the private sector.  The guidance is already the basis for sea level rise projections in the Southeastern Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.

The USACE guidance is the ONLY example we have found of a prospective policy statement on adaptation at the federal level.  Lots of talk, lots of workshops, working groups, toolkits, jawboning....but no one but the Corps has put forth a policy that takes future projected conditions into account.

We can only hope that other agencies will take note of this step and begin to project future conditions into flood plain maps, flood insurance rate maps, beach replenishment, dredging, permitting --- all of the various decisions federal agencies (and their state partners) make along the tidal shoreline every day.



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