The link below will send you to a PC application.

You need to download both the .exe file and the data set on this page.

As more cities and regions are hit hard by storms, public pressure for better infrastructure planning is growing. A consensus is emerging that in many cases, “putting it back the way it was” is not the right answer. Community leaders may be ready to take new actions to adapt to changing conditions, but may also be unsure whether such new ideas are good investments. They may well ask: “How much should we pay to lower risks, and where is the line between a wise choice and a foolish one?

COAST predicts damages from varying amounts of (SLR) and storms of various intensities and evaluates relative benefits and costs of response strategies. Although it is a technical tool, its primary value of the COAST is how it connects the technical with the social, political, and economic realities of local adaptation. Stakeholders are drawn in to actively engage in discussions about their future, and they parameterize the model. Being entirely driven by the participants, and using locally derived data on vulnerable assets (real estate, economic activity, infrastructure, natural resources, human health, others) and candidate adaptation actions wherever possible, COAST results generate enthusiasm and buy-in not available through most other approaches.

An example of COAST graphic output is below, showing a no-adaptation-action scenario for the potential impacts of 1 meter of sea level rise and a 10-year flood event in the year 2070, for a portion of downtown Mystic Seaport in Groton, CT. The z-axis polygons represent cumulative expected lost real estate and building contents value of over $8.7 million (maximum loss per parcel is over $800,000). Adaptation actions subsequently identified by the end-users and modeled in this location included installing a hurricane barrier, elevating a road, and building dikes, each of which could provide some protection to the vulnerable areas.

Visually, each adaptation action is represented in similar maps that show reduced or eliminated polygons. Numerically, this is an effective way of showing up front and maintenance costs of hard-structure approaches versus expected damages from particular inundation events. Soft-structure adaptation approaches may also be modeled, such as flood-proofing, rezoning over time, and land acquisition.

Importantly, the approach allows modeling of ranges of SLR and storm surge frequency and intensity. Combining multiple future scenarios provides stakeholders an opportunity to select their expectation of future conditions and then visualize damages under action versus no-action scenarios. COAST output is in the form of files compatible with Google Earth and tables showing costs versus benefits (avoided costs) of adaptation scenarios stakeholders have developed.

COAST is a “retail” approach in that it works best one jurisdiction at a time, using bottom-up data to generate location-specific conversations about adaptation planning and finance. And though it has been used or is being used in over a dozen locations (and many more are beginning the process, especially in response to Hurricane Sandy), easily hundreds more communities could benefit from the approach. However, although the software itself is available here as a free download, in many cases support for public process may be necessary to structure SLR and other assumptions in each use of the tool; determine, with stakeholders, the appropriate adaptation actions to model; incorporate appropriate data layers; run the model; present map and table results in appropriately facilitated public sessions; and help translate stakeholder input on these results into specific policy and finance innovations that represent, finally, adaptation action. This support can be developed through university extension offices, state planning offices, or other public sector sources, and consulting firms may also be helpful (one example is here).