The National Science Foundation has award $5 million to an interdisciplinary team to create a Hub that will build community capacity in rural coastal Virginia for enhanced climate adaptation and resilience. The project is led by ERI Director Karen McGlathery, and brings together faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, UVA’s Biocomplexity Institute, Equity Center, Institute for Engagement and Negotiation, William and Mary’s Coastal Policy Center, and ODU’s Resilience Collaborative. The new CoPe awards, given to Hubs for Research and Broadening Participation, are for diverse, multi-institution projects that will tackle the hazards and issues coastal areas face. Hubs provide the opportunity for several groups to connect and participate in shaping the research.

Throughout the world, the economies and well-being of rural coastal communities are impacted by saltwater intrusion from accelerated sea-level rise and more severe storm flooding. At the same time, they face difficult challenges in responding to these climate risks, including lack of access to scientific information and expertise, lack of coordination among communities, geographical isolation, social inequities, unstructured governance, and limited institutional capacity. This is especially true in Virginia. The ERI-led Coastal Futures Hub will address this inequity and information gap to improve climate adaptation and resilience on Virginia’s rural Eastern Shore. It will bring together scholars and stakeholders who will co-produce an open-source data and visualization platform, the Climate Equity Atlas, to enable sustained collaboration, and support equitable decision making and solution adoption on risks of flooding and saltwater intrusion.