Orange County Branch Newsletter

October 2018

ASCE OC Environmental & Water Resources Institute

Keeping Your Assets Above Water: Coastal Flood Issues, Climate Change, Land Use Planning

By: Remi Candaele M.S., P.E.

In August, the ASCE OC EWRI Committee welcomed John Moynier, Vice President at Michael Baker International, for a special presentation on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Given the recent challenges posed by coastal flooding, climate change, and regulations that apply to jurisdictional dams, it was a timely and relevant discussion.

Climate change is a hot topic in today’s news and coastal communities are becoming increasingly aware of the potential risks of coastal flooding in the coming years. It is anticipated that by 2050, most U.S. coastal cities will face the threat of 30 or more days of ‘nuisance flooding” each year due to the impacts of sea-level rise even with moderate levels of sea-level rise (i.e., 1.5’ by 2100). If there is an increased in the frequency of storms along the coast, or if sea-level rise that exceeds the global projections, these communities will reach what NOAA considers to be the “tipping point” of 30 days of floods annually even sooner. The heavy winter of 2016-2017 already showed a taste of what the future might bring in areas like Newport Beach, San Diego and Santa Clara County.

Mr. Moynier discussed how the NFIP addresses these challenges through technical studies.  Concurrently, dam owners located upstream of habitable structures are required to update the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Inundation Maps by the end of 2018.  The ASCE OC EWRI Committee would like to thank John Moynier for a very informative presentation that was well received by approximately 50 attendees.  

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