The City of Lewes Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Pilot Project

Pilot Project for The City of Lewes, Delaware: Mitigation and Adaptation to Natural Hazards and Climate Change – Planning and Building Resilient Coastal Communities

Working with partners, the City of Lewes has made significant planning progress in mitigating natural hazards and adapting to climate change. Local officials and residents have been engaged throughout this process in developing a plan to improve community sustainability and resilience.

Project Summary

With its strong history of hazard mitigation planning and preparedness, the City of Lewes is perfectly poised to take advantage of an increasing understanding of climate change impacts. It is already known that temperatures are rising, glaciers are retreating, and sea levels are rising. These changes will exacerbate hazards that are known to threaten Lewes today. While these changes cannot be prevented, the effects of these events are dependent upon the choices and actions that Lewes makes today.

Given the increasing future threats that Lewes faces, the overall goal of the Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation project has been to further the City’s hazard mitigation work by incorporating climate adaptation. The project has developed an action plan that aims to improve community sustainability and resilience. Local officials and residents have been engaged through a series of workshops to determine the City’s greatest existing and future vulnerabilities and to chart a course of action to reduce these vulnerabilities.

Vulnerability self-assessments were conducted during several workshops, and these assessments resulted in the identification of two key vulnerabilities. The first is Lewes’ water system and the combined threats of saltwater intrusion into the aquifer and destruction of water conveyance systems that it faces from sea-level rise. The second vulnerability is the destructive impacts on homes and City infrastructure from increased flooding.

Based upon these two key vulnerabilities, six specific actions were identified as recommendations, and associated implementation guidance was provided. The recommended actions have significant overlap with the Lewes Mitigation Planning Team’s current priorities. The City will continue to work with partners to apply the recommendations that will integrate hazard mitigation and climate adaptation efforts.

Links to the final report documents are provided below.

Additional information about project workshops and process is also available.

Related Documents

Page Updated on October 24, 2011