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Hazards Caucus Alliance Briefing

Coastal Flooding: Understanding the Hazard and Protecting Communities

Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Room 2325 Rayburn 2:30 to 3:30 pm

Coastal flooding or storm surge is the inundation of the land along the coast by sea waters above normal tide levels driven by severe storms or hurricanes. Significant storm surge can create a dome of water that is 25 feet or more at its peak and 50 to 100 miles wide. As shown by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, storm surge and associated wave impact can be extremely powerful, causing many fatalities, devastation to coastal communities, economic losses and coastal erosion. About 50% of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of the coast and our ever-changing coastlines also provide an economic base for many industries. This briefing will describe the lessons learned about storm surge from modeling and direct observations of recent hurricanes, how natural barriers provide protection, how man-made levees can provide a false sense of security and how coastal zone management must balance economic and environmental concerns while protecting coastal communities.

Speakers and their presentations

Moderator: Pam Pogue, State Floodplain Program Manager, Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and President of the Association of State Floodplain Managers


Judy Gray, Deputy Director, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, NOAA, Miami, Florida
NOAA's Hurricane and Storm Surge Modeling (MS Powerpoint, 9.8 MB)

Virginia Burkett, Associate Regional Chief Biologist, National Wetlands Research Center, USGS and Chief, Forest Ecology Branch, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, Louisiana
Natural Barriers: To Serve and Protect (MS Powerpoint, 61.9 MB)

Clive Q. Goodwin, Assistant Vice President, Manager Flood Underwriting / Engineering, FM Global Insurance Company, Johnston, Rhode Island
Man-made Levees: Understanding the Risks (MS Powerpoint, 15 MB)

Audra Luscher, Coastal Hazard Planner, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, Maryland
Balancing Needs Along Our Valuable Coastlines (MS Powerpoint, 4.2 MB)


Speakers from left to right: Clive Goodwin, Audra Luscher, Pam Pogue (moderator), Judy Gray, Virginia Burkett

Sponsors for the briefing include the following members of the Hazards Caucus Alliance:

American Geological Institute
American Shore and Beach Preservation Association
Association of State Floodplain Managers


Information about the speakers

Pam Pogue is the recently elected chair of the National Association of State Floodplain Managers and the State Program managers for the National Flood Insurance Program in Rhode Island. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Government and Economics from Georgetown University, a Masters degree in Oceanography and Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM).

Judy Gray is a leader of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, which includes NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, a research laboratory with 150 employees who study hurricane dynamics and forecasting, climate monitoring and prediction, and oceanic and atmospheric chemistry. She is a member of NOAA's Coastal Storms Program management team. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology from Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington.

Virginia Burkett’s current research involves climate change impacts in coastal regions. She was formerly the Director and Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. She serves as the lead author on the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group II. Burkett was recently appointed Coordinator, Climate Change Science, for the U.S. Geological Survey. She received her PhD in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Clive Goodwin manages flood underwriting and engineering for commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global. He was instrumental in forming the Flood Risk Education Alliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, US Army Corps of Engineers and other organizations to address public and private sector concerns about levees. He is a Chartered Engineer and holds an Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy from Manchester University, England.

Audra E. Luscher has worked on coastal hazards and resource management in North Carolina and Maryland for the past five years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from California State University at Long Beach and a Masters in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.


The Alliance invites your participation in the briefing and in future Caucus events. For more information, contact Maeve Boland.at 703-379-2480 ext. 228; boland@agiweb.org.



Contributed by Katie Ackerly and Linda Rowan, AGI Government Affairs Staff

Posted: October 25, 2005

Please send any comments or questions about this web site to Maeve Boland.