States largely determine whether the approach to coastal flooding is to protect (e.g., constructed dunes, gates), accommodate (e.g., elevate structures and infrastructure), or avoid and retreat (e.g., rolling easements that allow the shore to migrate inland). A state’s approach can have implications for disaster resilience (including for public infrastructure), demand for federal assistance, and patterns and rates of recovery. Federal programs and policies can provide incentives or disincentives for nonfederal investment in coastal planning and risk reduction. The past decade has been marked by increased federal emergency funding for areas hit by coastal storms and increasing federal aid as a share of hurricane damages: 6% in 1955, 50% in 2005, 69% in 2008, and more than 75% in 2012 (see National Research Council, Reducing Coastal Risk, 2014). To what extent various federal programs and funds promote resilience (i.e., ability to recover from disruptions and adapt to changing conditions) is the subject of debate.
Date of Report: May 13, 2015
Order Number: IF10225
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