Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience Post-Hurricane Ian

Full Title: Increasing resilience capacity within southwest coastal communities in the wake of Hurricane Ian
This project aims to assess the impact of Hurricane Ian on the Southwest Florida coast and predict future storm impacts through geomorphological analysis and numerical modeling. Focused on Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, Naples, and Lovers Key State Park, the project will engage municipal officials to determine future scenarios, ultimately informing management decisions to increase resilience along the coast and minimize impacts on businesses and socioeconomically challenged populations.
Lead Investigator: Dr. Christopher Daly Assistant Professor Florida Gulf Coast University
Project Team: Dr. Michael Savarese Professor Florida Gulf Coast University, Dr. Felix Jose Professor Florida Gulf Coast University, Dhruvkumar Bhatt GIS/Spatial Analyst I, Florida Gulf Coast University, Andrew Gross research lab technician Florida Gulf Coast University.
Collaborator: USGS, Deltares
Award Amount: $186,873
Year Funded: 2024
Award Period: 2024-2026
Project Abstract:

Hurricane Ian had an enormous impact on the Southwest Florida (SWFL) coast due to its extreme storm surge and coastal flooding. This project aims to assess geomorphological changes and future storm impacts along the SWFL coast following Ian and to forecast the response of vulnerable areas to future impacts. This will be done by continuing ongoing coastal geomorphic data collection with UAV flown LiDAR and ground penetrating radar. Further, numerical models, particularly XBeach, will also be used to hindcast Hurricane Ian’s impact. The modeling effort will be supported by and done in collaboration with Deltares and the US Geological Survey. Work will focus on the municipalities of Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, and Naples, as well as Lovers Key State Park. The project team will actively engage officials from the three municipalities and the Park to present results of initial modeling and data collection efforts, and to determine future scenarios to be further simulated in XBeach, based on concerns of these municipalities. Results from the data collection and morphodynamic modeling will help determine vulnerable locations along the coast, and further, how to increase resilience capacity in these locations through management and policy decisions. Data generated in the project will be shared with the municipalities and presented to the public during several workshops. The output will help advance DEIJA by allowing forward planning to minimize impacts on business, particularly those related to the service industry, those employed in associated environmental and maritime industries, as well as socioeconomically challenged populations located along the coast.

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