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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: One in Three Coastal Projects Vulnerable to Climate Risks

800px-Corps_improves_Savannah_harbors_largest_dredge_disposal_area_(9689197168)The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has just released preliminary results of an Initial Vulnerability Assessment (IVA) of its coastal projects to sea level changes. The results show that roughly one third of projects are vulnerable. Specifically, the USACE project notes:

The IVA was completed by district teams overseen by the CESL project team in September 2014. Approximately 1500 projects were identified for IVA. Of these, about 1/3 of the projects were considered to be impacted by sea level change, requiring more detailed assessment. Based on the scores of these potentially impacted projects, about 1/4 were classified as potentially having high or very high impacts. At the current time, the results are undergoing quality assurance and quality control checks. Prioritization of potentially impacted projects begins in early FY15 for the next phase of CESL, with projects classified by IVA as very high or highly vulnerable receiving priority for examination in more detail. A fact sheet (pdf, 292 KB) on the IVA is attached, and a full report is expected to be released in December 2014.

These results stem from a a broader USACE effort, the Comprehensive Evaluation of Projects with Respect to Sea Level Change (CESL), which aims to “screen and assess the vulnerability of USACE projects to the effects of Sea Level Change and provide added benefits to other USACE activities (such as Asset Management and Recapitalization).” The effort draws a lot of its science from NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

See the official USACE CESL homepage for more details.


  1. David Stein says:

    Unfortunately, Congress has had a long history of “guiding” the Corps in selecting projects. Perhaps this sort of assessment will help the military understand that it cannot continue to acquiesce to political directions that fly directly in the face of facts.

  2. Vlad Fomin says:

    Just in case, let me remind you of sea level change – over the past few years – has increased the pressure on the Pacific plate is not less than 6×10 to the power of 11 tons. The pressure on the adjacent continental North American plate, virtually unchanged. Can not rule out that the rise in sea level (a consequence of the melting of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic) can cause a massive earthquake in Pacific states. It is obvious that the reduction of the ice cover in the Arctic would reduce the risk of earthquakes in the West USA, but the implementation of climate stabilization technology seems impossible in the coming years. For reasons of lack of interest of the political leadership of the Northern Hemisphere.

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