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Resilient Cape Cod


In early 2016, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awarded a three-year, $780,000 grant to the Cape Cod Commission and partners to develop a tool and public outreach program to investigate the environmental and socio-economic effects of local and regional coastal resiliency strategies.

The grant is funded through the NOAA’s Regional Coastal Resilience Grant program, which supports regional-scale projects that enhance the resilience of coastal communities and economies to the effects of extreme weather, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions.

Project Components:

Adaptation Strategies Database Public Engagement Socioeconomic Analyses Communication and Decision Support Tool Town of Barnstable Pilot Project


PHASE 1: Data Collection and Adaptation Strategies Database

Collect sufficient data on the impacts of changing climate, SLR, and adaptation strategies to generate a region-wide database.

Year 1: The CCC will acquire and incorporate existing and developing data sets to support our ability to understand and illustrate the impacts of changing climate and SLR on Cape Cod. We will engage local stakeholders in workshops to explain, vet, and adjust these datasets.

Years 1 - 2 : The CCC will compile a database including detailed accounting of the possible adaptation strategies, including regulatory and policy approaches and both hard and soft technological strategies, to improve resiliency within the Cape Cod coastal area. The development of this database will be vetted through stakeholder workshops.

PHASE 2: Public Engagement and Socio-Economic Analysis

Engage in a region-wide public process to improve understanding of coastal vulnerability and gauge the region’s willingness and ability to take action.

Years 1 - 3: The CCC will work with a consultant to conduct a literature review, a benefit transfer study and develop a spatial hedonics models. Through the literature review we will identify existing ecosystem service values appropriate for Cape Cod and potential impacts of adaptation strategies on these values. The benefit transfer study will assess the value of ecosystem services in the absence of Cape Cod-specific values and evaluate the impact of adaptation strategies on the estimated values. The hedonics model will identify how property values in the region are impacted by changes to ecosystem services.

PHASE 3: Development of the Communication and Decision-Support Tool

Develop a Decision-Support Tool to aid discussions around implementation of potential adaptation strategies.

Years 2 - 3: Based on prior successful development of a decision-support tool for comparing nitrogen-management strategies, we propose to develop a GIS-based tool to translate technical data into understandable and actionable language, estimate loss of individual and government assets, communicate adaptation strategies and the costs/benefits of those strategies, communicate the need for action, and engage the public in selecting and implementing site-specific strategies.

Year 3 : The power of the CCC’s nitrogen management tool is in communicating the cost and effectiveness of technology solutions within Cape Cod’s coastal watersheds and impaired water bodies. The CCC envisions this proposed coastal resiliency tool to have a similarly powerful effect in illustrating the threats of changing climate and SLR, overlaid with the options for adaptation, and comparing the costs and benefits of those options at local and regional scales. We will utilize focus groups of local resource managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders to refine the tool’s content and presentation.

PHASE 4: Town of Barnstable Pilot project

Pilot the planning approach and use of the Decision-Support Tool in the Town of Barnstable.

Year 3 : The objectives of the pilot project are to advance the Town of Barnstable’s resiliency planning efforts, to improve property owner understanding of the threats of climate change and SLR, to identify and highlight the cost of doing nothing, and determine the costs and benefits of different adaptation strategies.


Stakeholder Representation

The Stakeholder Working Groups are each designed to represent the range of constituencies, and their interests and concerns, with regards to their respective waterbody. Representatives are volunteers within stakeholder groups residing or working within the applicable subregional areas who are able to represent the constituent groups and interests within their area.

Stakeholder Regions

The subregions are organized by water body. Stakeholders should participate in the subregion most closely connected to their place of residence or work. Towns are encouraged to participate in all subregions that may apply.


Advisory Board

Mission: To support the regional resiliency planning process by providing advice on the overall approach, offering insight on key decisions, and reviewing draft work product.


Science Committee

Mission: To provide advice and recommendations for interpreting science and data regarding historic climate and weather hazards, and coastal geologic processes, and assist in providing access to data, as appropriate.


Adaptation Strategies Committee

Mission: To review and comment on the structure and content of the adaptation strategies database, suggest strategies to include, and provide advice on considerations for applying strategies across the region.


Regulatory, Legal and Institutional Committee

Mission: To consider the need for regulatory reform and increased coordination between local, regional, state and federal agencies to ensure implementation of appropriate strategies across the region.


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Teen with high-functioning autism who disappeared with older man found safe

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Teen with high-functioning autism who disappeared with older man found safe

AnAlpharetta teenager reported missing on Monday and believed to be with a 44-year-old man has been found safe in New York City.

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Source: Family

Mary Pridgen, 16,has a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, according toher father Glen Pridgen. Pridgen got a phone call early Fridaymorning from Child Protective Services in New York City.

“She walked up to a police officer at 1:30 in the morning and said, ‘I’m a runaway. Please call my dad,” Pridgen said.

As he prepared to catch a flight to New York to pick up his daughter, Pridgentold CBS46 he's glad to know his daughter is safe. He was anxious to speak with her to find out how she ended up in New YorkCity.

Days before, whenPridgen first realized his daughter had run away from home, he started calling her friends.

He learned something shocking -- his daughter was in a relationship witha much older man he'd never met,44-year-oldMichael Whitlatch of Cherokee County.

“I’m 49, so I’m just a little bit older than him,” said Mary's father.

CBS46 has learned Whitlatch is a filmmaker who once produced a documentary on young adults living with Asperger Syndrome.

Mary's father wonders if Whitlatch used hisAsperger connection to grow close to his daughter.

In the months since Mary moved from Florida to live with her father, she's become agroup leader for an organization of young adults living with the Asperger diagnosis.

“That’s one of the first things that she did when she came here, and he [Whitlatch] goes to these meet-ups," Pridgen said. "I believe he looks for vulnerable people, especially girls.”

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