Coastwide
via NOAA

USA - How the New NOAA and DOI Mapping Tool Can Boost Climate Resilience

CMRA supports users in evaluating future climate threats to federally-funded projects. It also provides information on various federal grant programs that can fund climate resilience efforts.

As climate changes, many communities are seeing more events where weather- and climate-related events are damaging infrastructure. Giving easy access to information about future conditions helps communities plan for the future.

Recognizing a gap in data availability for climate resilience, the Biden-Harris Administration in partnership with the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior recently launched the Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) portal, a new website to help communities across the nation understand the real-time climate-related hazards in their area, analyze projected long-term exposure to those hazards, and identify federal funds to support climate resilience projects for their communities.

Homeland Security Today spoke with NOAA to find out more about the climate mapping tool and how climate mitigation measures can save lives and money.

NOAA said that the portal serves as a key tool to aid in the planning and implementation of federal investments, such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act. CMRA supports users in evaluating future climate threats to federally-funded projects. It also provides information on various federal grant programs that can fund climate resilience efforts.

NOAA told us that CMRA integrates decision-relevant information from across the U.S. government, including climate maps and data; non-climate data such as building code standards, economic justice, and social vulnerability information; and federal grant funding opportunities. Data sources include the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL). NFHL is the official assessment of areas in the U.S. susceptible to flooding and provides 100-year (1% annual chance of flooding) and 500-year (0.2% annual chance of flooding) floodplain areas.

The website’s new CMRA Assessment Tool offers information on past, present, and projected future climate conditions to support planners and managers in assessing their exposure to climate-related hazards, including drought, extreme heat, coastal and inland flooding, and wildfire. The site helps local resilience planners and other users create their own custom climate exposure assessment for specific locations and customize statistics and visual representations of the hazards in their particular area. This interactive application will enable users to understand how future temperature, precipitation, and flooding conditions may impact their community in the near-term and by mid- and late-century.

NOAA explained to Homeland Security Today how state and local government planners and managers can use the CMRA portal to assess risks, perform analysis, and create proposals based on their local climate hazards and needs:

Read more.