Building resiliency to cope with climate change

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Gwen Shaughnessy, the lead instructor for adaptation planning for coastal communities,said they work with a number of communities around the nation to help them prepare for the impacts of a changing climate.

The Bureau of Statistics and Plans held two workshops this week on building resiliency to cope with climate change and other threats to coastal communities and infrastructure.

The free interactive courses provide participants with practical skills for adding adaptation strategies into planning processes. It also introduced participants to green infrastructure concepts that can play a critical role in making coastal communities more resilient to coastal hazards.

Gwen Shaughnessy for Lynker, LLC, the lead instructor for adaptation planning for coastal communities provided an overview of the workshop.

“It is a two-day workshop. We work with a number of communities around the nation to help them prepare for the impacts of a changing climate and just really trying to understand what are the local implications for protections into the future, what coastal hazards we will be facing and what we should be thinking about in terms of planning and decision-making processes,” Shaughnessy said.

Esther Taitague, land use planner with the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, also talked about the bureau’s workshop on green infrastructure such as rain gardens, which can be used to conserve natural areas and improve stormwater management.

“It is how we can use green infrastructure and low impact development practices to manage stormwater onsite, to manage it within your property. As a homeowner, you can use rain gardens, and that is an example of low impact development. Rain gardens take stormwater from your rooftop or your driveway and use native plants to filters pollutants and recharge groundwater. It cleans out the water,” Taitague said.

The workshops were conducted in partnership with the Bureau’s Guam Coastal Management Program and the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

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