Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 8, 2011

NYS Sea Level Rise Task Force Issues Final Report

Created in 2007, the NYS Sea Level Rise Task Force issued its final report to the State Legislature on December 31, 2010.  The report contains, among other things, the following recommendations:

1. Adopt official projections of sea level rise and ensure continued and coordinated adaptation efforts.

2. Require state agencies responsible for the management and regulation of resources, infrastructure, and populations at risk from sea level rise to factor the current and anticipated impacts into all relevant aspects of decision making.

3. Classify areas where significant risk of coastal flooding due to storms has been identified and implement risk reduction measures in those areas.

4. Identify and classify areas of future impacts from coastal flooding from projected sea level rise and storms to reduce risk in those areas.

5. Reduce vulnerability in coastal areas at risk from sea level rise and storms. Support increased reliance on non-structural measures and natural protective features to reduce impacts from coastal hazards, where applicable.

6. Develop maps and other tools required to assist local decision makers in preparing for and responding to sea level rise.

7. Amend New York State laws and change and adopt regulations and agency guidance documents to address sea level rise and prevent further loss of natural systems that reduce risk of coastal flooding.

8. Provide financial support, guidance and tools for community]based vulnerability assessments and ensure a high level of community representation and participation in official vulnerability assessments and post]storm recovery, redevelopment and adaptation]planning processes.

9. Undertake a comprehensive assessment of the public health risks associated with sea level rise, coastal hazards and climate change including compromised indoor air quality, drinking water impacts, post]traumatic stress and other mental health problems, increases in disease vectors, impaired access to health care and loss of reliable access to food and medical supplies.

10. Raise public awareness of the adverse impacts of sea level rise and climate change and of the potential adaptive strategies.

11. Develop mechanisms to fund adaptation to sea level rise and climate change.

12. Fund research, monitoring and demonstration projects to improve understanding of key vulnerabilities of critical coastal ecosystems, infrastructure and communities from sea level rise.

13. Ensure continued and coordinated adaptation to sea level rise.

14. Seek federal funding, technical assistance and changes to federal programs to make them consistent with, or accommodating to, state policies, programs and adaptation measures related to sea level rise.

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