Coastal Hazards and Sea-Level Rise Asset Vulnerability Assessment ProtocolThe National Park Service (NPS) has partnered with the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University to create a Coastal Hazards and Sea-Level Rise Asset Vulnerability Assessment Protocol. This protocol establishes a standard methodology and set of best practices for conducting vulnerability assessments in the built environment. Standardizing the methodologies and data utilized in these assessments allows managers to compare the vulnerability of coastal park assets across local, regional, and national levels.
The assessments are currently focused on assets at risk to coastal hazards and sea-level rise within coastal parks. Coastal vulnerability was chosen as a starting point in the development of vulnerability assessments because of digital data availability and a good understanding of the trends in the major climate stressors (e.g., sea level). The vulnerability assessment protocol is being piloted for inland parks, as the methods can be applied to additional natural hazards and climate stressors, as long as georeferenced hazard data exists or can be mapped.