Scoring Workshop for the Hurst Creek Resiliency Project in Maryland
A SAGE scoring workshop was held in June to evaluate a planned coastal resilience project supported by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR), Hurst Creek. Hurst Creek is located in Dorchester County, two miles east of Cambridge, Maryland and is a tributary to the Choptank River. The project aims to restore access between the Choptank River and Hurst Creek as well as address erosion, sedimentation, and water quality issues. The gradient scoring workshop used SAGE members as an external team of experts to conduct the scoring. The expert team worked with MD DNR and local stakeholders to gain a comprehensive understanding of information need to assess the gradients.
Unique to this workshop, the expert team developed rubrics to score the adaptation gradients to create consistency in the components needed to achieve a particular gradient scores. The rubric approach allows for consistency between multiple experts and between multiple projects. The Maryland SAGE workshop found that high scores are hard to achieve as all but two gradients scored medium. Institutional capacity received a score of medium-high in recognition of track-record, project leadership engagement and effective outcomes of previous coastal resilience projects in Maryland while a score of low-medium was given to social benefits due to the limited impacts of the project on the broader community.
Dr. Melissa Kenney of the University of Maryland and workshop lead said, "We’ve been able to show that there are tremendous opportunities for applying the SAGE Gradients Framework. SAGE is useful for holistically assessing different decisions and evaluating the effectiveness of implemented.”
Bhaskar Subramanian of MD DNR and co-chair of the workshop stated "When Kevin and I were listening to the inputs and the feedback [from the SAGE expert team], it was a very eye opening experience for us. There are so many different angles that the SAGE group considered. From a program perspective, I think program managers should hear these inputs so that they can make projects more holistic."
Scoring Workshop for the Buena Vista Santurce Barrio, San Juan, Puerto Rico
In May of 2018, the SAGE network conducted a scoring workshop and expert consultation for the Buena Vista Santurce district in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Buena Vista Santurce is a 62-acre neighborhood bordering the Caño Martín Peña, with a population density of over 15,000 people per square mile. High population density, coupled with high rates of poverty and a lack of formal planning and infrastructure, makes the area particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.
The SAGE network consulted with ENLACE, a land trust corporation that serves as a collective ownership model for residents of all eight neighborhoods along the Caño Martín Peña. This innovative organization created the first master plan for the region, and is currently seeking funding for a major restoration project through the EPA. SAGE consulted on the proposed design for a stormwater capture system, utilizing the Adaptive Gradients Framework as an assessment tool.
Over a period of four days, the SAGE team performed site visits and interviews to supplement the initial case study of the stormwater capture system. With help from scientists from the University of Puerto Rico and from local decision-makers from ENLACE, the SAGE team produced recommendations for the stormwater capture system, which included more robust assessment and data collection, the incorporation of green infrastructure designs, and planning suggestions for the Paseo Del Caño Norte.
The SAGE team presented these recommendations to ENLACE, the University of Puerto Rico, and several local planners and decision-makers. These recommendations will be incorporated into future grants and planning programs as Puerto Rico continues to develop critical infrastructure for communities with the highest need.
ENLACE’s innovative model for informal settlements provides one of the most innovative studies for climate adaptation with a strong emphasis on equity. The land trust serves more than 2,000 families, providing community support and resources and services, while giving the community the ability to collectively apply for grant funding, governmental support, and critical infrastructure. As of 2016, ENLACE has invested $120 million into sewage improvements, and is pursuing an additional $600 million in improvements over the next several years. ENLACE’s innovative approach provides the Caño Martín Peña communities a pathway towards equitable development and resilience to climate change impacts.
SAGE Team: Elisabeth Hamin, Ruben Flores- Marzan, Max Dilthey, Fernando Gilbes, Tom Sheahan, Steven Scyphers, Paul Kirshen, Robert Ryan, Rob Pirani, Rebecca Fricke
Background video of site: Documental: Agua Mala (Caño Martín Peña)