Local Government Guide to Coastal Management

Local Government Guide to Coastal Management

The Guide

With the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather and climate-related hazard events, coastal decisions makers must pay close attention to how their localities plan for, prepare for, recover from and adapt to disasters. Understanding change is essential to supporting economic stability and growth, managing natural resources and planning for natural disasters and other threats and challenges. Though themes and challenges may fluctuate across regions, all coastal counties need support in managing their coastal resources.

The Strengthening Coastal Counties’ Resilience Program was designed by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), the Coastal States Organization (CSO) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to build the capacity of coastal managers in the Gulf of Mexico Region to educate and work with their local elected officials on coastal hazards and to effectively utilize the high-level coastal management resources available to them. It is important for decision-makers to be aware of these resources, not only the types of information, tools and support available for them to use, but also how to navigate through and select the materials that best suit their needs. This website was created to support coastal counties as they work to strengthen their resilience.

The Team

The National Association of Counties (NACo)

NACo is the only national organization representing county governments in the United States.  NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties—including the approximately 70,000 county elected and appointed officials and senior staff that serve counties—in pursuing excellence in public service to produce healthy, vibrant, safe and resilient counties.

  • Jenna Moran is Program Manager for Resilience at the National Association of Counties. She handles grants and initiatives relating to resilience, community and economic development, arts and culture and transportation and infrastructure. She is staff liaison to the NACo Resilient Counties Advisory Board and Arts and Culture Commission. Jenna previously worked at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she focused on creative placemaking—or the integration of arts into community revitalization efforts. Jenna holds a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame.

  • Shanna Williamson is a 2018 NOAA Digital Coast Fellow at the National Association of Counties. As a Digital Coast Fellow, Shanna will conduct original research and outreach that will help coastal counties in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi increase their long-term resilience. Prior to joining NACo, Shanna worked for the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance assisting with community outreach and organizing efforts for their Great Neighborhoods Campaign which focused on reforming Massachusetts’s zoning and permitting laws. She has a M.S. degree from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and a B.A. degree in the Geosciences from Skidmore College.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)

ASFPM is an organization of professionals involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, National Flood Insurance Program and flood preparedness, warning and recovery. Its mission is to promote education, policies and activities that mitigate current and future losses, costs and human suffering caused by flooding, and to protect the natural and beneficial functions of floodplains - all without causing adverse impacts.

  • Haley Briel is a Research Specialist within ASFPM’s Flood Science Center. She has spent her professional life approaching water-related topics through a variety of lenses, from her time as the environmental outreach coordinator for Wofford College’s Thinking Like a River pro-gram, to more recently as a program and policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Haley is most interested in developing comprehensive flood strategies that incorporate not only engineered solutions but also consider the social and health needs of a community. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth and Environmental Science from Vanderbilt University, and two Master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Urban and Regional Planning and Water Resources Management.

  • Jeff Stone is Senior Project Manager of the Flood Science Center for the ASFPM. In this capacity, he manages research and outreach projects that focus on informing flood policy through science. Projects include, but are not limited to, evaluating FEMA's HAZUS-MH software; research of the legal, practical and technological issues related to digital flood hazard data; and assessing and communicating effective GIS tools and applications for locating, storing, analyzing, and reporting flood hazard data. Jeff has over 20 years of experience developing and applying Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies to a variety of public and private sector projects. He has a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cartography & GIScience.

The Coastal States Organization (CSO)

CSO represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues. It works to help states and territories maintain their leadership role in the development and implementation of national coastal and ocean policy; provide information, updates, and alerts that keep states attuned to developments in Washington, D.C.; and maintain a national coastal and ocean management community of practice.

  • Alexis Cunningham is a 2018 Digital Coast Fellow, placed in a joint position with CSO and the ASFPM.  She leads CSO’s and ASFPM’s partnership to promote and improve participation in the Community Rating System as a tool to achieve coastal flood resilience. This includes bridging the gap for communities that do not have sufficient capacity to join or advance in the CRS.  She hopes to contribute to the field of water management and policy in sorting out the competing priorities of ecosystems, economic development, energy, food, and human consumption. Alexis is a recent M.S. graduate in Water Science & Policy from the University of Delaware, where she assessed the effectiveness and role adaptive management plays in the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load.

  • John Ryan-Henry is a Resilience Specialist and Legal Advisor at the Coastal States Organization. In this capacity, he supports CSO’s mission through legal and policy analysis of coastal issues including hazard resilience, climate adaptation, flood risk management, beneficial use of dredged materials, maritime commerce and offshore development. He joined CSO in 2018 after working jointly with CSO and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources as a 2017 Knauss Coastal Policy Fellow. John has a Bachelor of Science in Geological Science from Brown University, a Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and a Juris Doctor in Environmental and Maritime Law from the Roger Williams University School of Law. He is admitted to the bar in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

As the national lead for coastal management efforts, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is devoted to partnerships, science, and good policy. “Coastal management” is the term used by communities and organizations working to keep the nation’s coasts safe from coastal hazards, rich in natural resources, and economically strong. The agency, housed within NOAA’s National Ocean Service, oversees major initiatives that include the Coral Reef Conservation Program, Digital Coast, National Coastal Zone Management Program and National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

  • Susan Fox, of The Baldwin Group, joined NOAA Office for Coastal Management in January 2005. Her current role as Project Manager and Training Specialist includes coordinating the Digital Coast Partnership effort, serving as liaison to the National States Geographic Information Council and the American Planning Association, coordinating updates to the Digital Coast Academy website, delivering Digital Coast training, overseeing a National Association of Counties NOAA Coastal
    Resilience grant
    , and participating in the development of risk communication resources.  Before coming to NOAA, Susan performed planning and development reviews for Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection and designed CT’s public access website. She was also a plant geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Strengthening Coastal Counties’ Resilience Advisory Council

The Strengthening Coastal Counties’ Resilience Advisory Council was created to guide the development of the Strengthening Coastal Counties’ Resilience program. Advisory council members were chosen for their knowledge, expertise and understanding of the Gulf of Mexico Region. They participate in bi-monthly conference calls during which they provide insight into and feedback on the development of this online guide, as well as the accompanying training and technical assistance program. Advisory Council Members include:

  • Paul Barnes, GIS Director, Harrison County, Miss.
  • Joseph Bauer, Government Operations Consultant, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Cynthia Bohn, Regional Coastal Program Coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife Service - Southeast Region
  • Whitney Gray, Florida Resilient Coastlines Program Administrator, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Shana Kinsey, Outer Continental Shelf Program, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Sara Krupa, Coastal Resource Scientist Supervisor, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
  • Hon. Merceria Ludgood, Commissioner, Mobile County, Ala.
  • Eric Poole, Executive Director, Florida Counties Foundation
  • Becky Prado, Deputy Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Charles Reulet, Interagency Affairs and Field Services Administrator, Louisiana Office of Coastal Management
  • Tina Sanchez, Environmental Grants, Mobile County (Ala.) Environmental Services
  • Kate Saul, Coastal Resources Planner, Texas General Land Office
  • Tracie Sempier, Coastal Storms Outreach Coordinator, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant
  • Chris Shepard, Director of Science - Gulf of Mexico, The Nature Conservancy
  • Jon Truxillo, Local Programs Coastal Resources Scientist, Louisiana Office of Coastal Management
  • Will Underwood, Natural Resource Planner, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Lands Division, Coastal Section
  • Kriss Vallese, Assistant Director, Florida Association of Counties
  • Heather Wade, Senior Associate Director for Planning and Extension, Texas Sea Grant

Upcoming Events

Strengthening Coastal Counties’ Resilience Workshop, October 2018, Baldwin County, Ala.

Contact Us

Do you have any questions about the website or its content? Do you have any feedback on or recommendations to improve the website’s usability? Would you like to be added to any of NACo, ASFPM, CSO or NOAA’s coastal resilience-related listservs? Email coast@naco.org.

Upcoming Events

See all events