CRMC Executive Director Grover Fugate introduced the risk index at the Beach Special Area Management Plan stakeholders meeting at the URI Coastal Institute in Narragansett on Feb. 4.
"One of the challenges facing us is that we are trying to help municipalities and state agencies look at coming up with some sort of objective way of weighting risk particularly as it might potentially affect the shoreline," he
"Using CERI, municipalities and state agencies will be able to look at each structure and we will be able to go structure by structure, piece of infrastructure by infrastructure, and estimate the damage by any storm or sea level rise scenario."
The index utilizes shoreline change maps from various sources including Beach SAMP coastline, surge and wave data, and from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic Comprehensive Coastal Study.
Because the models for other destructive forces, such as wind and structures impacting other structures, have yet to be added to the index data analysis, Fugate
warned that the damage estimates may be too low.
"While this is a very good planning tool for us to start to estimate and identify those areas that are truly at risk, it still underestimates the damage that might occur."
Starting with Charlestown and Warwick, Fugate
said that he
hopes the project would eventually include every Rhode Island municipality.
"We're going to be going forward to do this on a community basis," he