The Coastal States Organization (CSO), the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and the ASFPM Foundation are organizations dedicated to collaborations and partnerships, representing state and local officials whose jobs entail engagement and cooperation of landowners, communities, and other federal, local and state agencies. All three organizations saw an opportunity, through NOAA's Coastal Management Fellowship Program, to integrate and update guidance to coastal communities by focusing on overlapping and critical coastal policy issues and strategic objectives. Jake Thickman was selected as the Digital Coast Fellow, producing the body of work shared within this website.

Jake Thickman

Digital Coast Fellow, 2016-2018

Project Title: Helping States Achieve Adaptive Management of Changing Coastal Hazards, Risks, and Ecosystems

Project Abstract: Coastal ecosystems are under increasing pressure in modern times as a result of growing development and sea level rise. A number of policy guidance documents have been produced by organizations representing coastal management professionals, including the Association of State Floodplain Managers and Coastal States Organization, in an effort to update coastal management policies and practices in light of these changing threats to productive ecosystems. To this point, however, no framework exists for implementing the progressive policies put forth. My project aims to fill this gap in knowledge through a review and synthesis and federal and state coastal management policies, identifying model policies at the state level, seeking policy avenues for increased funding and collaboration in the management of coastal areas, and ultimately providing guidelines for the development of a holistic approach to coastal zone management.

Background: My passion for coastal environments is rooted in my time spent growing up in and around the estuaries and beaches of Florida. As an undergraduate I attended the University of Florida where I earned my B.S. in Environmental Science. Upon graduation I turned my focus more towards marine and coastal issues, relocating to Long Island, New York and beginning a M.A. program in Marine Conservation and Policy at Stony Brook University. Within my first two months of living in New York, Hurricane Sandy made landfall. It was an eye-opening experience for me, seeing the impact of this storm having dealt with several hurricanes growing up in Florida. With Sandy still fresh in my mind, I began work on recovery efforts through the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms and Emergencies once my degree was complete, conducting analyses of storm impacts on coastal ecosystems and infrastructure in New York. It was there that I met my eventual M.S. advisor Dr. Chris Gobler, and have since completed a M.S. degree in Marine Science in which I focused on improving coastal water quality monitoring in local estuaries.

Funding: This project was funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Management Fellowship Program (Contract #: EA133C-15-SE-0768) and the ASFPM Foundation.