Climate Change CRRA flood inundation risk assessment maps (coastalriskconsulting.com)

Published on July 21st, 2015 | by Sandy Dechert

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Long-Term Coastal Flood Risk Ratings Debut Online

July 21st, 2015 by  

A new venture out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has come up with a valuable yet low-cost way to help individuals, communities, business, and government coastal locations get climate-ready and storm-safe. It also enables real estate brokers, home inspection services, and financial institutions that underwrite or package mortgages to improve the quality of their services.

Florida fading cityscape (coastalriskconsulting.com)

Dow Jones MarketWatch describes Coastal Risk Consulting, LLC, as “the leading online flood prediction technology company.” Last week, CRC unveiled a first-of-its-kind flood forecast service for more than 50 million coastal properties in the US. CRC’s proprietary models promote property resilience by identifying climate change threats, assessing coastal flood risk and potential consequences, and evaluating adaptation solutions.

The Coastal Risk Rapid Assessment™ Report and FIRST Score™ are the coastal real estate equivalent of a personal credit score or a CARFAX rating, says Nancy Dahlberg of the Miami Herald. In CRC’s first couple of days on the market, property developers, a golf course, a power plant, and individual homeowners learned whether their properties risk significant flooding over the next 30 years.

The need for better coastal flood risk information has never been greater, says MarketWatch:

“Chronic and increasing ‘nuisance’ or sunny-day’ flooding from rising sea levels and tidal flooding already affects Annapolis, Norfolk, Miami Beach, San Francisco, and other cities in US coastal and estuary flood zones.”

CRRA flood inundation risk assessment maps  (coastalriskconsulting.com)The CRC reports constitute the world’s first online climate impact risk and due diligence service for real estate at the individual property level. Brainchild of Wharton grad, longtime environmental lawyer, and Florida International and U of Cincinnati educator Albert Slap, the CRRA and FIRST Score™ empower current and prospective land owners to make more informed decisions regarding coastal real property–especially important now that climate change is causing sea levels to rise.
Says Slap:

“[The] technology is not going away. People are going to be adding it to their market baskets of tools with which to judge properties. Better information leads to better decision making.

While we don’t guarantee that the climate impacts projected in this report will occur at the specific property, our forecasts are based upon sound science and publicly available government databases. This information has always been available from big engineering companies. We’re democratizing… to make it available to millions of people at an affordable price.”

That would be $49.95 for a short report and score based on the projected number of days of flooding over time,  detailed 20-page reports costing $250 to $400, and custom reports for neighborhoods, communities, business,  government facilities, and multinationals. CRC has also partnered with the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and has also been working with IBM’s Smarter Cities program.

Sample CRRA property location map (coastalriskconsulting.com)Questions the CRRA process can help with:

  • Should I purchase the property in the first place?
  • If I own a coastal flood risk property, should I improve on it?
  • What impacts will climate change have on the fair market value of the real estate over time?
  • Should I plan for adaptation measures, now, to protect my investment?

You can examine a sample Coastal Risk Rapid Assessment™ Report and brief  “How It Works” video at this link.

Engineering, architecture, geospatial analysis, natural systems, health and education, and legal and regulatory specialists make up the CRC team. Among them:

  • Dr. Leonard Berry, an author of the southeastern section of the current National Climate Assessment, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, and former Director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies at FAU, who has testified before the Senate and was recently quoted by The Washington Post on President Obama’s recent trip to the Florida Everglades;
  • Dr. Keren Bolter, a South Florida Regional Planning Council policy analyst who has collaborated on several other important projects (MIT Sea Level Rise Scenario planning, Alternative Futures project, Anglo-Floridian partnership to exchange adaptation strategies); and
  • Dr. Brian Soden, Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, Professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, and a member of the IPCC group that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Al Gore.

Sample CRRA 30-year flooding graph (coastalriskconsulting.com)The CRC experts say that if your property is located in one or more government-designated coastal flood risk zones and if the CRRA indicates that your property will experience 30 or more days of non-storm-related flooding per year, then you should definitely consider taking steps now to increase climate readiness and storm safety. The company also provides on-site climate resilience inspections.


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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."



  • Matt

    In USA all the flood insurance on the coast is government backed. Need to raise those rates a lot and only allow one claim per property in high risk areas. That or really raise the cost (10x-100x), so that it can cover the worst case projections.

    • Bob_Wallace

      One claim per property would be an excellent adjustment. If someone is flooded out then they can take their settlement and move to higher ground. If they want to rebuild in the flood zone that’s their risk.

      Raising rates now, I’m not so sure about. The people living where the rising ocean/river is going to bite them are not wholly responsible for climate change.

      No public insurance for any new construction in the ‘at risk’ zones.

  • adapt or die

    One of our local authorities in NZ tried to “draw a line in the sand” of their biggest coastal community, by marking a 50 year and 100 year ‘mean high tide’ level in the district plan, as informed by sea level rise predictions applied to the local environment. This went onto property Land Information Memoranda, which caused a minor Tsunami of vitriol from premium beach side property owners.
    Following the threat of High Court civil action the Council revoked its line and apologised for trying to instigate a “managed retreat”.

    • neroden

      Geez. Well, if the beachside property owners were smart, they promptly sold their land while it was still worth something. I feel sorry for the poor suckers who bought the land without adequate disclosure of the fact that it’ll be underwater soon; they’ll probably end up suing the local authority for NOT publishing those lines!

      • Bob_Wallace

        The buyers will likely be climate change deniers.

        Given that deniers have caused us to be less aggressive about slowing climate change, well, I see the hand of the FSM (Bless His Noodly Appendage) in operation.

  • eveee

    So the instead of the billboard signs saying “you could be home by now” , they will say “you could be underwater by now”.
    One good thing. Awareness of sea level rise needs to increase.

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