Sea-level rise, dissipating dunes and susceptibility to storm surges are a few of the factors that contribute to a vulnerable coast. A coast at risk means an increased potential for damage to coastal communities and ecosystems in the event of tropical systems, nor'easters or other damaging weather.
More than 40 experts representing state and federal agencies and regional universities gathered to discuss these and other important issues during the Coastal Flood Research, Modeling and Monitoring Workshop on Sept. 16.
The Delaware Geological Survey will review recent scientific literature and assessments of sea-level change in Delaware and identify appropriate scenarios to use for planning purposes throughout the state. This project will also develop new inundation maps along Delaware's coast that correspond to the identified scenarios.
DGS is building a database and web distribution system to collect, manage, and display high water marks (HWMs) that are observed throughout Delaware as a result of flooding events. Historical peak water levels can be extracted for past storms or for a selected geographic area. Development is being done in partnership with the Office of the Delaware State Climatologist, the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS) and the Delaware Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Center (DEMAC).
Two state agencies, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), collaborated with the University of Delaware and the Delaware Geological Survey (DGS) and found an answer in the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS). DEOS was created in 2003 as a real-time, regional monitoring system that provides data on weather conditions, water levels, snow depth, and various other environmental factors obtained from automated weather stations in and around the state.
During the last two decades, storms such as Hurricanes Katrina and Ike along the Gulf of Mexico and Floyd and Hugo along the Atlantic Coast of the United States have resulted in significant loss of life, injuries, and property damages exceeding well over 100 billion dollars. Much of the damage associated with these and other tropical and extra-tropical weather systems is associated with severe coastal flooding. The purpose of this project is to develop a real-time coastal flood monitoring and warning system for the coastal communities in Kent County, Delaware. This system will serve as a prototype for similar early-warning systems, which may then be applied along the entire Delaware coast.