The Georgia Coastal Equity & Resilience Hub
COASTAL EQUITY & RESILIENCE HUB
SCOPE & GOALS
This Hub aims to develop the fundamental knowledge and tools to design adaptive coastal infrastructure and equitable resilience strategies under projected future sea-level rise scenarios along the vulnerable Georgia coastline. This project in particular has a strong focus on low-income, historically marginalized communities of color in Savannah, Georgia, building on existing partnerships between Georgia Tech, City and County officials, and several local environmental justice organizations.
The project will build on an existing network of 50 “Smart Sea Level Sensors” (sealevelsensors.org) and a state-of-the-art water-level modeling and forecasting system based in Chatham County, expanding the sensor network and modeling along the Georgia coastline, including installations in Glynn County, Camden County, and the King’s Bay Naval Base. The network and modeling will be the foundation of a GA Stakeholder Decision Support System (GA-SDSS) that will provide real-time data to emergency planners and responders charged with protecting lives and infrastructure from flood events that have become more frequent and more severe in recent years. Sensor data streams will serve a high-resolution coastal land-ocean model based on the Semi-implicit Cross-scale Hydroscience Integrated System Model (SCHISM) to provide neighborhood-specific flood forecasting of extreme rainfall, storm surge, and their compound effects as they interact with both rural and urban geographical settings. In doing so, the project will develop a comprehensive and geographically relocatable Coastal Equity And Resilience (CEAR) framework that incorporates expertise from the physical and natural sciences, technology and engineering, and social sciences, as well as indigenous experts, community-based practitioners, and policymakers. To this end, this project will pilot a GA Community Support and Engagement Strategy (GA-CSES) through established partnerships with local underserved communities around Chatham County. Finally, building on existing work, this project will contribute to Education K-12 and Workforce Development by establishing several curriculum modules for K-12 schools, partnering with schools in the Chatham/Savannah district, that we plan to expand to other coastal Georgia districts. These activities combine sensor data streams, community science activities, environmental justice concepts, and engineering principles with hands-on activities in alignment with the Georgia K-12 standards. The CEAR hub will enable the design and retrofit of infrastructure, implementation of protective natural infrastructure, and equitable workforce development programs to bolster the long-term well-being of coastal communities.