The NOAA, NASA, and U.S. Geological Survey partnership is flying again, this time in response to Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd. Using satellites and airplane-mounted lasers, scientists are documenting shoreline erosion along North and South Carolina beaches and looking for water quality change indicators in the flooded coastal areas.
For additional information about laser beach mapping, see http://www.csc.noaa.gov/crs/tcm/index.html. To learn more about the Center's estuarine habitat project, see http://www.csc.noaa.gov/crs/ehab/.
How does one calculate the true cost of a natural hazard? It isn't easy.
Experts are very adept at assessing structural damages. Uncovering "hidden" costs is much more difficult, yet this information is vital when determining the economic practicality of various hazard mitigation measures. Hidden losses include those associated with interruptions to businesses, reductions in property values, disruption of social services, psychological trauma, and damages to natural systems.
A book that addresses this topic, The Hidden Costs of Coastal Hazards, is the result of an intensive two-year study by the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment. The book takes a structured approach to the problem of coastal hazards, offering a new framework for community-based hazard mitigation, along with specific recommendations for implementation. The book is a unique source of new information and insights from lenders, investors, developers, insurers of coastal property, and others who are involved with the business of hazard mitigation.
The NOAA Coastal Services Center helped initiate and fund this study. To order The Hidden Costs of Coastal Hazards, call Island Press at (800) 828-1302.
The Center's triennial survey of coastal resource managers was undertaken this past fall, and as of press time, the survey garnered an impressive 70 percent participation rate.
Point your browser to http://www.csc.noaa.gov/survey/ to read a summary of the responses. A thorough survey analysis will be posted at this site in the near future.
Survey results will be used by the Center and the rest of NOAA to detect national trends and to tailor future programs and services. The state programs can use this information to compare the issues and technological capabilities of their programs to the national average.