Coastal Cities and Science Unite: Insights from Town Hall Event in New Orleans 

Coastal Cities and Science Unite: Insights from Town Hall Event in New Orleans 

Notes from the DCC-CR event at Ocean Sciences 2024, in New Orleans

The event titled ‘A Dialogue on Coastal Cities and Coastal Community Resilience’ took place during the last week of February. Experts in coastal resilience and representatives from coastal municipalities came together at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans to delve into the pressing challenges facing coastal regions around the world.»

Hosted by the Decade Collaborative Centre for Coastal Resilience, one of the coordinating structures of the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development, the event aimed to bridge the gap between coastal city stakeholders and scientific communities. By fostering dialogue and sharing cutting-edge scientific insights, the event wanted to reflect upon strategies and solutions to provide communities and practitioners with the knowledge needed to combat threats such as sea-level rise, storm surges, and coastal erosion, and initiate a stronger relation with ocean scientists and knowledge providers.

The event underscored the critical need for accessible and co-produced technical and scientific information in crafting resilient strategies for coastal areas. As communities grapple with socio-economic stresses exacerbated by environmental hazards, the integration of scientific findings becomes increasingly paramount.

The discussion featured experiences and lessons learned from city managers, coastal practitioners, and ocean scientists. Zach Monroe, external affairs manager for the Office of Resilience and Sustainability of the City of New Orleans, brought the local perspective of coastal management in the hosting city of the conference. David Behar presented his experience working with practitioners through his role at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, along with the new perspectives he aims to pursue as the chair of the new community of practice, PEERS. Vanessa Sarah Salvo and Villy Kourafalou brought their experience from Ocean Decade actions such as Ocean Cities Network and CoastPredict, integrating the perspectives of local communities and practitioners into their work.

Out of the discussions emerged key recommendations directed at the scientific community, aimed at informing the forthcoming initiative ‘Cities with the Ocean.’ This initiative, part of the UN Ocean Decade framework, seeks to establish a network of coastal cities committed to implementing solutions in line with Ocean Decade Actions. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, the initiative aims to develop a shared set of strategies for coastal adaptation.

As coastal cities navigate the challenges ahead, the insights gleaned from this event provide a roadmap for resilience, underlining the importance of scientific collaboration and community engagement in safeguarding our coastal communities for generations to come.

Read and download the full statement and the report on the audience engagement during the Town Hall on our Zenodo page.

Read the original note here: