An iterating research, engagement and application cycle to support sea level rise planning in coastal Washington State: A "messy network" case study

Ian M Miller, Washington Sea Grant/Peninsula College, Port Angeles, WA, United States
Sea-level rise (SLR) planning is a complex enterprise that operates at the nexus of interacting global, local and regional physical processes, a rapidly evolving scientific endeavor, a diverse political and demographic landscape, and changing local perspectives about prioritizing risk in coastal communities. In other words, sea level rise planning is hard. In Washington State, where there are no clear state mandates or federal directives associated with sea level rise planning, efforts to mitigate future risk have largely been conducted through partnerships amongst a "messy network" of individuals and entities, including representatives of local and state government, tribes, federal agencies, boundary organizations and others. This presentation will provide a perspective on sea level rise science-to-planning efforts in Washington State, and emphasize:

1) How this "messy network" understands, interprets and prioritizes "stakeholder needs" as they relate to sea level rise
2) The important role of boundary organizations within this "messy network", and the role they play in facilitating connections between nodes of the network
3) The importance of local pilot projects as crucibles for developing scalable projects and approaches for engagement, data products and planning
4) Success and failures to date in regards to enhancing the SLR resilience of Washington's coastal communities

The presentation will not forward any "silver bullets" for enhancing SLR resilience. Rather the intention will be to present a perspective on an approach towards SLR planning that can be compared to that employed elsewhere. The goal will be a universally-applicable set of best practices for SLR planning.