By ecoRI News staff
NEWPORT — As experts continue to predict significant sea-level rise along the New England coastline, oceanfront businesses are vulnerable to a range of significant impacts. On Dec. 9 and 10, the 13th annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium will host a public lecture and a one-day conference at Salve Regina University to educate coastal-area business owners and local decision-makers on how to reduce the impacts of flooding on their businesses and their communities.
The two-day symposium is sponsored by the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center, in collaboration with Rhode Island Sea Grant and the Pell Center at Salve Regina University.
The conference, entitled “Staying Afloat: Adapting Waterfront Businesses to Rising Seas and Extreme Storms,” will engage business leaders and other decision-makers in dialogue with experts and colleagues on steps they can take to adapt to rising sea levels, major storms and increasingly high tides.
The keynote speaker, John Englander, an oceanographer, author and founder of The Rising Seas Group, will review the science behind sea-level rise, the potential for devastating economic impacts, and the kinds of “intelligent adaptation” that all businesses and coastal communities should implement.
“Waterfront businesses in Rhode Island are well aware of the threats they face from flooding. ‘Staying Afloat’ is an ideal opportunity for them to be able to talk with experts and get the facts about what to do,” said Dennis Nixon, director of Rhode Island Sea Grant.
Englander also will give a lecture on the evening before the conference at Bazarsky Lecture Hall from 6-8. The lecture, “On the Waterfront: Storms, Tides and Sea Level Rise,” is free and open to the public.
“Rising sea level and extreme weather events resulting from climatic change are threatening coastal communities and the businesses found along the waterfronts,” GSO Dean Bruce Corliss said. “The Baird Symposium will address this critical challenge and consider how businesses and communities can adapt and develop resilient strategies to this ongoing environmental challenge.”