Beach Access, Coastal Preservation, Beach Dredge & Fill, Ocean Protection, Marine Protected Areas
August 06 2015

Surfrider Foundation Attends and Presents at the National Adaptation Forum (NAF) in St. Louis

by Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, California Policy Manager. Erin Barlow, Climate Change Adaptation Intern.

Surfrider Foundation’s attendance at this renowned conference is just one of the many ways Surfrider is beginning to engage more actively on climate change adaptation work.  While adaptation work is still in its infancy across the nation, Surfrider, via its national chapter network, is poised to help agencies, local governments and communities address serious coastal impacts of climate change.  More specifically, Surfrider is ramping up our efforts to educate the public, decision-makers, and to strategically advocate for adaptation policies and plans.

The NAF conference was a gathering of professionals including government officials, non-profit representatives, professors, students, and business leaders. The goal of the conference was to exchange knowledge regarding practical adaptation planning and implementation.

During one of the panels, Surfrider presented regional projects we are undertaking across the country. Some examples include:

  • California Chapters are working with state agencies and local municipalities to update “Local Coastal Programs” to incorporate proactive planning measures related to coastal armoring, managed retreat, and public infrastructure.  
  • Florida Chapters are working on insurance reform to reduce state subsidies for coastal development in high-risk areas, like barrier islands. 
  • Pacific Northwest Chapters are grappling with Ocean Acidification and erosion issues. 
  • Northeast and mid Atlantic Chapters are providing continued response to impacts of Hurricane Sandy through proactive planning and calculated restoration.

In the coming months, Surfrider will be launching a new climate change adaptation program.  The time to plan for the future is now. Coastal communities, public infrastructure and private homes will fare better in the future if mindful adaptation strategies are developed and adopted as soon as possible.