2019 GLISA Small Grant: Preparing Erie, Pennsylvania for Extreme Weather-What to do and Where to Start

Funded by 2019 GLISA Small Grants Competition

 

Summary

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 (Anticipated)

  • 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
  • Set of plausible climate scenarios describing future conditions
  • Completed vulnerability assessment for Erie with a Resilient Index score for the various key indicators identified in the assessment
  • List of assets of community concern and level of risk from climate change
  • 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’s Contribution

GLISA funded this 2019 small grant project and is partnering with the grantee to provide climate summary information for Erie, PA, as well as developing scenarios to facilitate at a workshop for project stakeholders.

Partners

NOAA Sea Grant, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, Erie County Department of Planning and Community Development, Environment Erie, Green Building Alliance, Erie County Department of Planning, Department of Environmental Protection

GLISA Contact

Kim Channell, Climatologist, kimchann@umich.edu