Water washing over raod at Olowalu_MileMarker14_05.26.2017_creditAsaEllison

Building Resilience to Coastal Hazards and Climate Change in Hawai‘i

NOAA FY16 Coastal Resilience Grant and cooperative agreement with Hawaiʻi Sea Grant in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources and Office of Planning

Project duration: May 2016 – April 2019


Brad Romine:  romine@hawaii.edu or call (808) 956-3013

About the Project

Hawaiʻi is highly vulnerable to coastal hazards including impacts related to climate change and sea-level rise.  As sea level rise accelerates and climate and ocean conditions change, it is becoming increasingly important for island communities to develop policies and implement strategies that reduce vulnerability and increase resilience to natural hazards.  Development, infrastructure, and populations in Hawaiʻi are generally concentrated on low-lying coastal plains making communities and local economies highly vulnerable to flooding, coastal erosion, sea level rise, and coastal disaster events including tropical cyclones and tsunamis.  The overarching goal is to increase community resilience to coastal hazards and impacts from climate change and sea level rise in Hawaiʻi through three complementary projects building on the Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report completed by the State of Hawaiʻi in 2017 (available at climateadaptation.hawaii.gov) and other recent projects and initiatives:

Factsheet_sea level rise viewer-website

The Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Viewer

This online Viewer incorporates the best available science on sea level rise predictions for Hawai‘i including exposure to passive flooding, annual high wave flooding, coastal erosion, and a combined sea level rise exposure area. The Viewer also includes vulnerability layers depicting potential economic loss of land and structures and flooded highways.  With high-resolution interactive maps, the Viewer serves as a companion digital atlas for the State Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report. This tool is accessible to communities and decision-makers across Hawai‘i allowing them to visualize and plan for the local impacts of coastal hazards and sea level rise. The Viewer was developed by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System under the direction of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources. The Viewer was completed in December 2017 along with the State Report and is available at hawaiisealevelriseviewer.org or climateadaptation.hawaii.gov.

Resilience in planning factsheet

Integrating Coastal Hazards and Sea Level Rise Resilience in Community Planning

It can be challenging to translate state-wide policy into action at the local level. This project focuses on developing practical guidelines for incorporating recommendations from the Hawai‘i Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report and the Hawai‘i Climate Adaptation Priority Guidelines into the community planning process. Ultimately, this project will build capacity in state and county government to address climate change, sea level rise, and coastal hazards through appropriate entry points in the comprehensive community planning process. This project will produce an interim guidance document in April 2019 and a final in April 2020.

cover of the final 2019 Hawaii Disaster Recovery Preparedness Guidance

Guidance for Disaster Recovery Preparedness in Hawai‘i

Through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Regional Coastal Resilience Grant, the Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program together with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Office of Planning, and Tetra Tech, Inc., developed statewide guidance documents and tools to improve community resilience to coastal hazards and sea level rise. These guidance documents and tools support implementation of the recommendations of the Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report (Hawai’i Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Commission 2017) especially to integrate sea level rise adaptation plans and policies into state, county and community plans and to develop pre-disaster recovery frameworks at the state and county levels that incorporate opportunities to adapt to sea level rise through disaster recovery.