Giving precedence to marsh migration by relocating development from the Georgia coast
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Alignment by Georgia coastal communities of sea level rise adaptation plans with the National Flood Insurance Program may mitigate the impact of sea level rise on tidal marshes. Coastal communities and environments are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to the potential for permanent coastal inundation and increasing coastal hazards associated with changing weather patterns and extreme weather events. This thesis deals with sea level rise only and the impact of this phenomenon on the tidal marshes of Georgia. In addition to this particular environmental impact, increased sea levels will have significant medium to long-term social and economic impacts on the Georgia coast, in part due to coastal communities’ dependence on ecosystem services provided by tidal marshes. As an integral part of a planned response to climate change, this thesis proposes adapting to long-term rising sea levels in a manner that minimizes the resulting social and economic costs associated with tidal marsh impacts. To this end this thesis proposes relocation from the coast as a sea level rise planning action to mitigate the disruption of sea level rise on the entire coastal system.