2019 GLISA Small Grant: Preparing Erie, Pennsylvania for Extreme Weather-What to do and Where to Start
Funded by 2019 GLISA Small Grants Competition
Erie County, Pennsylvania, which includes 76 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, Presque Isle State Park, the City of Erie, and eight other coastal municipalities, is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the short and long-term impacts of extreme weather and climate variability. These threats have the potential to harm residents, local infrastructure, and other community assets. To build resilience in Erie, Pennsylvania Sea Grant is working collaboratively with the Community Resilience Action Network of Erie (CRANE) and GLISA to engage community stakeholders within various sectors of Erie County to discover and document local climate hazards and develop workable solutions to address these climate and weather-related risks. This project is following the ‘Steps to Resilience’ outlined in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit to: 1) explore Erie’s hazards by hosting community engagement workshops to determine the most relevant community assets and concerns; 2) assess vulnerability and risk by conducting a community vulnerability assessment to assign risk to each of the identified assets; and, 3) investigate response options by compiling and prioritizing possible solutions. Results will be compiled into a best management practices document that will summarize the results of the working sessions and contain the action strategy recommendations decided upon by the community. This document will act as a road map for decision-makers, planners, and local leaders so they know “what to do and where to start” to build resilience in Erie.
Project Accomplishments and Outcomes
- Project White Paper
- Framing document containing localized information on Erie’s climate and a list of local assets potentially at risk that will be used as a reference to guide community members in prioritizing assets, hazards, and vulnerabilities of most concern to them.
- The team implemented a survey to identify county-wide perceptions, experiences, and concerns regarding extreme weather to inform this framing document.
- Set of plausible climate scenarios describing future conditions (based on GLISA’s Future Climate Scenarios for Great Lakes Cities).
- The team hosted a scenario planning workshop in Erie, PA that explored various extreme weather scenarios to inform county hazard mitigation planning efforts.
- Scenario planning workshop summary report: Stahlman, S., Channell, K., Fronzoli, J., Tompkins, J., & Mason, S. (2023) Preparing Erie, Pennsylvania for Extreme Weather: What to do and Where to Start – Scenario Planning Workshop Report. GLISA
- Completed vulnerability assessment for Erie with a Resilient Index score for the various key indicators identified in the assessment
- Master list of all possible actions strategies that could improve resilience in Erie
- Best management practices document that will include prioritized and structured action strategy recommendations from stakeholder feedback
Research Findings (Anticipated)
This project aims to explore community climate hazards, develop a vulnerability assessment, and investigate potential solutions in Erie, PA. Results will inform action strategy recommendations by the community to help Erie build resilience.
GLISA funded this 2019 small grant project and partnered with the grantee to provide climate summary information for Erie, PA, as well as develop scenarios to facilitate at a workshop for project stakeholders.
A summary report of this workshop is available here.
NOAA Sea Grant, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development, Erie County Conservation District, Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development, Environment Erie, City of Erie, Green Building Alliance, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Penn Future, Penn State Erie–the Behrend College
Kim Channell, Climatologist, firstname.lastname@example.org