Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council’s Executive Director, Grover J. Fugate, has been invited to share knowledge on climate change and resilience with officials from the Netherlands later this month.
Dutch Wavemakers, an initiative to increase water awareness worldwide and to begin conversations about the “value of human capital for a future-proof water sector”, has asked Fugate to be a guest lecturer at their May 16 brainstorming session in Newport, RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) said in their latest release.
“The East Coast of the US (including New England) is prone to hurricanes and severe flooding, which made it an obvious choice to focus on flood safety and resilience for our brainstorm session in Newport,” Egbertha Schuiling of Dutch Wavemakers said. “The CRMC quickly emerged as one of the most relevant institutes in Rhode Island.”
As for what the Netherlands might hope to learn from Rhode Island, Schuiling said that because 60 percent of the country is below sea level, the project is “fully engaged in protecting our country from flooding from the sea, the major rivers and damage from flooding as a result of extreme rainfall.”
“There is an ongoing partnership and dialogue between the U.S. and the Netherlands in order to exchange expertise on flood defense,” she said. “We understand that efforts on water resilience are emerging in the Boston and Newport area as well.”
“It’s an honor to be chosen by the Dutch speak to them about the specific issues that Rhode Islanders face with climate change,” said CRMC Executive Director Fugate. “The CRMC has a lot to offer in terms of policies, practices and the best available science, both in our soon-to-be-completed R.I. Shoreline Change (Beach) Special Area Management Plan and its suite of tools, and the real changes we have seen in our state due to sea level rise.”