Staying Afloat: Assessing the long-term financial impacts of sea level rise adaptation solutions in a historic coastal community

Image via The City of Crisfield, MD


In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and George Mason University, the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) is working to provide rural communities with the tools and data necessary to make financially and socially responsible decisions for adapting to climate-induced flooding from sea level rise, storms, and precipitation.  

Using various modeling and inundation scenarios as well as damage estimates, the project team will identify anticipated policy and financial opportunities for and barriers to implementation of the financially and socially responsible adaptation strategies, and make recommendations for overcoming these barriers.  

The project team will work with the Town of Crisfield and Somerset County, Maryland to conduct a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment to inform the strategic implementation of climate adaptation strategies based on the strategy sustainability, community flood-risk reduction benefits, and long-term financial impacts. Through this case study, the team will gather data on the predicted local impacts of climate-induced flooding, assess infrastructure vulnerabilities, and calculate the costs and benefits of different nature-based adaptation strategies – including a “no action” scenario. In addition to long-term financial implications and flood risk reduction, the order and timing of adaptation strategies will be considered to inform an idealized, chronological adaptation methodology. The results will be integrated into a decision support process for Crisfield and Somerset County that prioritizes relevant nature-based adaptation strategies. 


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          City of Crisfield, MD logo               The Nature Conservancy logo                George Mason University logo      






Semester / Year
2021 - Present

Team Members

Program / Center Affiliation