The Hampton Roads Adaptation Forum addresses concerns, best practices and collaboration for adaptation to sea level rise in Virginia.
Virginia Sea Grant, Old Dominion University and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission plan and host quarterly meetings to bring together professionals in adaptation including local municipal government staff, scientific experts, private sector engineers, state and federal agency staff, NGOs and other stakeholders to facilitate regional coordination, information exchange and share adaptation best practices.
Meeting since late 2012, the forums have built a network of professionals that share information, adaptation lessons learned, and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss science and policy in an informal setting. The forum has two main functions.
The first is to provide an opportunity for up-to-date research on flooding and sea level rise to be presented to those who will be using it to make public policy decisions. New research on sea level rise, flood modeling and adaptation options is constantly being released, and the forum allows for researchers and users to present their findings and answer questions from local government staff.
The second major function is to provide an opportunity for dialogue and networking between information providers and users. This allows for the deliberation and discussion of current research, the sharing of best practices between local government staff from different communities, and the identification of specific research needs in Hampton Roads that can be addressed by the regional academic community. Using information from the forum, local government staff have made recommendations to update comprehensive plans to incorporate sea level rise and floodplain management ordinances to address increased flooding risks and recent regulatory changes.