Does the Coastal Barrier Resources Act Provide a Policy Template to Address Wildfire Risk?

The CBRA prohibits federal financial assistance related to new development in designated coastal barrier areas, forcing private actors to bear the full costs of development. Could a similar approach be used to address escalating wildfire costs? Could Congress designate a “High Wildfire Hazard Resources System” to eliminate federal incentives to develop those lands?Read More

Must Floodplain Buyouts Decrease Tax Revenue?

One frequent challenge is that local government officials are reluctant to offer post-disaster housing buyout programs because buyouts can result in lost property tax revenue: if residents relocate into other jurisdictions and properties are kept as vacant lots, tax revenue falls.  While the potential loss of tax revenue necessarily plays a major role in local level decisions, buyout programs can be designed such that they minimize potential losses or even increase local revenues by coupling the buyouts to strong land-use planning strategies that enhance the community.Read More

How Sea Level Rise Simulations Can Improve Climate Adaptation

Sea level rise threatens coastal communities around the world, but it is unclear if local governments and homeowners will be willing to invest in flood protection measures before it is too late. In a recent study, Co-Director Bob Meyer and colleagues explore the likely effects of sea level rise on South Florida’s adaptation efforts through an interactive online simulation that accelerates 348 South Florida homeowners thirty-five years into the future so that they can ‘live’ the effects of sea level rise. Read More