An Assessment of the Coast Guard’s Engineering Operation and Design Decisions in Preparation for Sea Level Rise Due to Climate Change

Even the most moderate climate trends present new national security challenges for all branches of the U.S. armed forces. Rising sea levels will consume current pier facilities and hinder the ability of ships to dock in port. These pier facilities serve as strategic points for national security, provide maintenance and fueling areas, and facilitate crew training. To address climate change, national policies and executive orders are in place. For example, beginning in 2010, the Department of Defense enacted a climate impact assessment plan to gather data for long term planning. The most vulnerable pier facilities along the U.S. East Coast are in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. This research, through a synthesis of climate change research and military action plans, and semi-structured interviews with Coast Guard engineers explores the varying gap between necessity for action and lack of daily decisions to protect against the immediate threats from climate change. Interview questions asked about their current roles, understanding, and perceived probability of damage in the future due to sea level rise. Interview responses are grouped into cognitive and institutional barriers that may be preventing current action to address climate change. The limited guidance from policy and institutional financial restrictions make action to combat impacts of climate change, like sea level rise, challenging. The outcome of this research includes recommendations that bridge ongoing command control initiatives and individual decision making for local action in the Coast Guard.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: pp 38-48
  • Monograph Title: International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure 2017: Policy, Finance, and Education

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01687915
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784481202
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Oct 4 2018 4:40PM