$0.00 – $6.00
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a medium-sized coastal community
Coastal Flooding in Shoreham: Responding to Climate Change Risks is a seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a medium-sized coastal community.
The game focuses on the difficulties of minimizing coastal flooding and storm damage through flood protection infrastructure, flood-proofing requirements, and land use planning. It is one of four exercises developed as part of the New England Climate Adaptation Project.* The Shoreham game highlights the fiscal realities of climate adaptation, addressing important questions about how public money should be spent on risk management efforts, especially in the face of scientific climate change projections that involve a measure of uncertainty.
Residents of Shoreham, a 65,000-person coastal town, have grown increasingly concerned about the number of “freak” storms that have hit their town and region. Big rainstorms, snowstorms, and hurricanes have led to severe flooding, which is particularly problematic given the number of people and businesses that are concentrated along the waterfront, where the flooding is worst. Shoreham recently experienced a major flooding event, which generated a lot of media attention highlighting the potential for climate change increasing Shoreham’s flooding risk. The storm and related media coverage prompted residents to demand that their town do something to provide protection from the long-term effects of sea level rise and increased storm intensity.
In response to these public concerns, the Town Manager commissioned a climate change risk assessment and convened a small working group called the Coastal Flooding Task Force to figure out how to reduce the town’s long-term vulnerability. The job of the Task Force is to come up with a fiscally responsible and environmentally sound proposal. Three approaches to reducing flood risk are under consideration: flood protection infrastructure, flood-proofing, and land use management.
- Climate change adaptation poses difficult planning choices, but there are actions cities and towns can take now to protect themselves that will be beneficial regardless of how severe climate change risks turn out to be.
- Development, conservation, and infrastructure investments decisions made today will continue to affect communities far into the future. Short-term actions that do not take long-term climate change risks into account could prove extremely costly in the long run.
- A community-wide approach to managing the collective risks associated with climate change can create opportunities to address other issues while reducing vulnerability and enhancing community resilience.
- Communities must assess their vulnerabilities and decide which adaptation strategies are most appropriate.
- Stakeholders may have conflicting interests that shape their views about which public policy choices make the most sense. By working collaboratively and taking science into account, communities can find creative solutions that meet the interests of diverse stakeholders.
- At-risk towns and cities will have to consider how the financial responsibility for reducing climate risks will be distributed and whose responsibility it is to implement adaptation measures.
This exercise requires seven roles: six stakeholders and one facilitator. Multiple groups of seven can play at the same time. Where there are uneven multiples of seven, players may be doubled up in certain roles.
Total time requirement: 2 – 3 hrs
Preparation: 30 minutes
Negotiation: 60 – 75 minutes
Debriefing: minimum of 30 minutes, during which players can reflect on the game experience and how it relates to real life situations
For all parties:
- General instructions, including a climate change risk assessment memo and floodplain map
- Confidential instructions for:
- Assistant Town Manager
- Town Planner
- Director of the Association to Preserve Shoreham County
- Director of the Shoreham Chamber of Commerce
- Owner of Shoreham Realty
- President of the Shoreham Shores Civic Association
- All of the above
- Teaching Notes
* The other three exercises developed as part of the New England Climate Adaptation Project include:
Coastal Flooding and Climate-Related Risks in Launton
Flooding and Climate Change Risks in Northam
Flooding in Milton: Collectively Managing Climate Change Risks
Coastal Flooding in Shoreham Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 hours|
|Number of participants:||7|
|Neutral third party present:||Yes|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|
|Author:||New England Climate Change Adaptation Project|