Special Interest Meetings

Monday, February 8, 2021

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (EST)

Exploring the Application of Digital Coast Tools for Multi-Criteria Analysis and Mitigation of Repetitive Flood Loss Properties

 NOAA Water Initiative and the National Water Model

 Applying the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS): Understanding Data, Tools, Technical Limits, and Possibilities

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. (EST)

 Mapping Coastal Inundation: Keeping Current with New Data, Tools, and Trends

 High-Resolution Land Cover User Group

 


 

Exploring the Application of Digital Coast Tools for Multi-Criteria Analysis and Mitigation of Repetitive Flood Loss Properties

Leaders:
Jeff Stone, GISP CFM, Association of State Floodplain Managers
Chris Shepard, The Nature Conservancy
Becky Love, CSS at NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Repeatedly flooded properties have cost the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) more than $12.5 billion—roughly half of the program’s $23-billion debt, with losses continuing to trend in the wrong direction. This troubling situation can be influenced through appropriate and timely mitigation by local and state floodplain management and coastal management programs. Analysis of mitigation options, such as buyouts or elevating structures, for repetitive loss properties should be considered in a larger context using a multiple-criteria approach that includes economic, socially equitable, and ecological data and values. Integrating benefit-cost analysis with nature-based and social vulnerability criteria can provide comprehensive solutions that achieve community resilience.

The goal of this special interest meeting is to get participant feedback that would help the Association of State Floodplain Managers, Coastal States Organization, The Nature Conservancy, and NOAA, as Digital Coast Partners, with the following: 1) better apply multi-criteria and geospatial data and tools that exist or could be developed; and 2) develop guidance and training that utilizes these data sets and tools to help local floodplain and coastal managers efficiently compare and prioritize equitable mitigation options aimed at reducing repetitive loss properties.

 Learning Objectives

  • Gain an understanding of existing data, tools, and approaches for analyzing and mitigating repetitive loss properties for National Flood Insurance Program communities inside and outside of FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS).
  • Hear from local floodplain managers and experts about successes, challenges, and opportunities of mitigating repetitive loss properties through existing and new approaches.
  • Share needs and provide ideas on data, tools, analyses, and products that would be useful for mitigating repetitive loss properties.

Target Audience: Coastal and floodplain managers, social and environmental scientists, GIS coordinators and analysts. Participants will learn how FEMA defines repetitive loss (RL) or severe repetitive loss (SRL) properties, where these properties are located around the country, and the basics of FEMA’s Community Rating System program, especially activities related to RL and SRL properties.

 

 NOAA Water Initiative and the National Water Model

Leaders: Brenna Sweetman and Miki Schmidt, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Challenges of too much water, too little water, and water of poor quality are increasing in severity and frequency worldwide. Through new collaboration and strengthened engagement through its Water Initiative, NOAA is working to transform integrated water prediction services. This initiative better supports society’s evolving needs for actionable water information for water-related risk, use, management, planning, and security purposes. Central to this effort is the National Water Model, the nation’s first continental-scale hydrologic prediction system that simulates and forecasts critical components of the water budget. This session will provide an opportunity to learn about the activities and products of the NOAA Water Initiative under development at the National Water Center, followed by a facilitated discussion to generate new ideas to support, expand, and leverage existing efforts to better address water-related challenges in the coastal zone.

 Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the current and future activities of the National Water Center and Office of Water Prediction, including the Coastal Coupling Community of Practice, recent modeling activities coupling the National Water Model with storm surge models to predict coastal inundation, and the National Water Model visualization services currently under development.
  • Discuss opportunities to leverage existing capabilities and develop new applications to support coastal decision-making.

Target Audience: Geospatial analysts, application (tool) developers, and others who support coastal communities to address water-related issues.

 

 Applying the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS): Understanding Data, Tools, Technical Limits, and Possibilities

Leaders: Mark Finkbeiner and Brandon Krumwiedi, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

The Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) is now undergoing an update as required by the Federal Geographic Data Committee. This update to the standard will be informed and driven by users, who have developed provisional units, identified inconsistencies, and asked for additional guidance where the standard is unclear. While these updates will be primarily driven by physical and biological science, it is important to consider how remotely sensed observational technologies, both established and emerging, support the new CMECS schema. Early feedback from the user community indicates that some challenges to applying CMECS are related to technological and mapping methods. This special interest meeting will address how commonly available technologies, such as underwater video, grab samples sonar, and active and passive optical imagery, can be successfully used to develop standardized data products.

Presentations will provide a brief CMECS overview and demonstrate how a range of technologies have been used to develop CMECS data at different scales in applied projects. These presentations will address all components of CMECS. Open discussion among the group will explore what levels of the CMECS framework can be reached using different data. Key topics will include, but not be limited to, describing complex observations including co-occurring elements, the use of modifiers, and deciding when observational data should be considered a supplement to actual CMECS units. Best practices for the development of crosswalks to other classification systems and translating existing data into the CMECS framework will also be discussed.

At the end of the session, participants will have an improved understanding about how a given technology can be applied to develop CMECS data, and an understanding of which technology might be necessary for detecting particular CMECS units. The results of the session will be posted on the CMECS forum site, and will be incorporated into technical guidance documents.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about geospatial tools and methods for CMECS mapping.
  • Learn about the status of updates to the CMECS.
  • Apply technologies to develop CMECS units.
  • Learn best practices for crosswalking existing data into the CMECS framework.
  • Learn about the importance of metadata in supporting CMECS.

Target Audience: CMECS users and developers interested in applying CMECS coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes ecosystems to inform science-based management.

 

3:30 p.m. (EST)

 Mapping Coastal Inundation: Keeping Current with New Data, Tools, and Trends

Leader: Matt Pendleton, Lynker at NOAA Office for Coastal Management

This session focuses on the technical components of inundation mapping, including new data and methods for mapping sea level rise and high tide flooding. The session provides an informative, hands-on approach to keeping current with inundation mapping topics, as well as local and national scenarios for potential impact analysis. Technically-driven and informative, this special interest meeting will provide relevant information for both coastal managers and technical mapping staff.

The session will include lectures and mapping demonstrations that are at the core of many of NOAA’s coastal products, tools, and services. A brief introductory presentation will provide an overview of updates to climate-related inundation science. Live demonstrations will include the following: 1) Exploring and visualizing elevation data from NOAA’s Data Access Viewer and the U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory; 2) Working with multiple elevation data sets to create seamless DEMs; 3) Using the VDatum online datum transformation tool, and creating tidal surfaces to account for tidal variability in mapping water levels; 3 Incorporating local scenarios into inundation mapping products; and 4) Examining new national high tide flooding thresholds with new products. Participant questions and comments are welcome during the demonstrations to promote an informal live discussion of technical topics.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the latest climate science, including the National Climate Assessment.
  • Learn how to retrieve elevation data from federal sources by using the newly rebuilt U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory.
  • View NOAA methods for building seamless elevation data sets conditioned for mapping inundation.
  • Learn about the using NOAA’s VDatum tool that considers tidal variability to enhance inundation mapping outputs.
  • View local scenario sea level rise information and view high tide flooding products using locally derived thresholds.

 Target Audience: From GIS staff to managers of technical staff. Basic working knowledge of geospatial products and methodologies.

 

 High-Resolution Land Cover User Group

Leader: Nate Herold, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Current, accurate land cover and change information is a common foundational data set that can be used to address a wide range of issues, from flooding risk and natural infrastructure to policy evaluation and land use planning. Knowing what exists on the ground and how it has changed through time gives planners more information, and the better that data, the better our understanding.

For almost two decades, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management has been producing high quality, standardized, 30-meter land cover and change information for the coastal U.S. through its Coastal Change Analysis Program (C-CAP). More recently, NOAA has been working to establish an operational higher resolution land cover product line, bringing the national C-CAP framework to the local level and allowing for more site-specific, local applications through the production of higher resolution (one-meter) land cover data.

This session will provide an opportunity to learn more about NOAA’s high-resolution mapping efforts, application of machine learning and deep learning technology for land cover mapping, implications to data quality and cost, and appropriate uses for this type of high-resolution data. The session will also provide an opportunity to discuss these topics and possible opportunities to leverage one another’s efforts.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the high-resolution vision and goals of NOAA’s Coastal Change Analysis Program, with emphasis on recent and current project work.
  • Understand the appropriate uses of high-resolution land cover data through the exploration of several key application examples presented by multiple users.
  • Discuss current land cover mapping techniques and technology, including the application of artificial intelligence (AI), and related impacts to quality and costs.
  • Identify potential opportunities to leverage these efforts, technology, and capabilities for development of similar products in your state or area of interest.
  • Provide input to future NOAA mapping efforts and products.

The meeting will consist of both presentations and breakout sessions for discussion.

Target audience: Anyone with involvement in land cover, impervious surface, or habitat map production or use of that data. Participants should have a general understanding of how land cover data are commonly produced, or good working knowledge of how that data fits into their work.