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Building Coastal Resilience: U.S. Risks and Preparedness

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
Hoover Institution
Wilson Center

Event Details:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Paul Brest Hall
Stanford, CA
United States

Read the recap of this event.

As sea levels continue to rise, coastal communities find themselves on the front line of a changing climate. Higher seas, stronger storm surges, and associated flooding threaten important economic activity such as energy production and transportation, ports, tourist areas and attractions, and fishing. In addition, these changes also threaten critical military installations located on the coasts.  Speakers explored the opportunities and risks of action versus inaction and identify successful case-studies as well as scenarios for circumstances where adapting “in place” is not an option.

Follow the conversation at #SecureCoasts


8:15 a.m. Registration – light breakfast served
9:00 a.m.

Welcome Remarks – Chris Field, Perry L. McCarty Director, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

Julie Packard, Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium; Vice Chairman, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

John Laird, Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency

Panel I – Sea Level Rise
The risks from sea level rise are wide-ranging. They stretch from nuisance flooding on sunny days, increasingly happening in the U.S., to the potential for substantial irreversible sea level rise from ice sheet collapse over centuries. Spanning science, decision support, and preparedness, this session will consider the latest on risks and resilience in the face of rising seas.

Moderator: Katharine Mach, Director of the Stanford Environment Assessment Facility,Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

Dustin Schroeder, Assistant Professor, Department of Geophysics, Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences
Jane McKee Smith, Senior Research Scientist for Hydrodynamic Phenomenon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Benjamin Strauss, Vice President for Sea Level and Climate Impacts, Climate Central

12 p.m. Lunch Break

Panel II – Ocean Health
Drawing on diverse perspectives from research, government, industry, and beyond, this panel will discuss ocean health in a changing climate. Topics will range from indigenous communities and industries in the Arctic, to a global stock-taking of fisheries and ocean protection.

Moderator: Roger-Mark De Souza, Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience, Wilson Center

Jennifer Liebeler Michael, Senior Environmental Policy Advisor, Chevron Corporation
Fiorenza Micheli, Director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University
Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S. Arctic Research Commission
Dan Wolford, Science Director & Secretary, Coastside Fishing Club


Panel III – Deep Dive on San Francisco Bay/California
The Golden State has made its climate-leadership mark not only by reining in greenhouse gas emissions, but also by increasing preparedness for climate risks. This session will consider recent experiences and future priorities for coastal resilience in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Insights will span from nature-based approaches to diverse infrastructure considerations, as well as the ways integrative city-based planning has emerged.

Moderator: Alice Hill, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

David Behar, Climate Program Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Thomas Kendall, Planning Branch Chief, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco
Len Materman, Executive Director, San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority
Mary Ruckelshaus, Managing Director, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University
Fran Weld, Vice President, Strategy and Development, San Francisco Giants

Closing Remarks

5:00 p.m. Wrap up and Adjourn – Reception to follow

This science and policy forum was held as part of the Building Coastal Resilience for Greater U.S. Security Project sponsored by the Hoover Institution, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and the Wilson Center. 


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