[ skip to content ]

More Information about this image

You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

White House-sponsored National Exercise at ODU to Explore Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Mitigation

Old Dominion University will take center stage in early December when it convenes a White House-sponsored exercise tailored to address risks and vulnerabilities associated with climate change and sea level rise. Organizers hope to develop an action plan applicable in threatened communities throughout the nation.

The day-long event, which is being led by the National Security Council with support from the FEMA National Exercise Division, will include local, state and federal government representatives (including military) as well as private business, academic and community partners who have roles, responsibilities or expertise relating to climate adaptation, hazard mitigation and resiliency planning efforts.

It will be held at Old Dominion University on Dec. 2, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Ted Constant Convocation Center's Big Blue Room, in Norfolk, Va. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. Participation is limited to invited guests; however, with space permitting, the general public and media representatives may make reservations in advance to observe the exercise's proceedings. To make a reservation, go to the Old Dominion University website.

Participants in the exercise will use a scenario tailored to the region to develop plans and procedures intended to serve as a model for communities in Virginia and across the country that are faced with sea level rise, extreme storm surge and recurrent flooding.

Old Dominion, the nation's hub of research for climate change and sea level rise, is a natural fit for convening the exercise. In 2010, Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick established the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative to address these challenges through research and education. The university facilitates the Hampton Roads Sea Level Rise Preparedness and Resilience Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project national "whole of government" and "whole of community" organization that is currently developing a local strategy for sea level rise preparedness and resilience planning that can be used as a blueprint to combat increased flooding in other regions across the U.S. This summer, the university also hosted a bipartisan forum - sponsored by Senator Tim Kaine and Congressmen Scott Rigell, Robert C. "Bobby" Scott and Rob Wittman - that promoted action in mitigating and adapting to sea level rise among all branches of government.

"This exercise will help galvanize our pilot organization, and put us well ahead of our timeline to produce a regional template illustrating our whole of government and community approach," said Ray Toll, director of coastal resilience research at Old Dominion's Office of Research. "It furthers ODU's role as a neutral party to work across the different echelons of government, acting as a facilitator and hub of intellectual capital to address sea level rise."

The event is part of a series of actions and tools to combat climate change and rising sea levels announced this week by the Obama Administration, including recommendations from the State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience on how the federal government should approach climate change and a Climate Resilience Toolkit that "provides for the first time easy, intuitive access to dozens of tools that can directly help planners and decision makers across America conduct their work in the context of a changing climate," according to the Council on Environmental Quality.

The full text of the announcement, along with more information on the toolkit and recommendations of the task force, can be viewed at theWhite House website.

For more information on the Intergovernmental Planning Pilot Project, sea level rise and recurrent flooding, visit the Old Dominion University Center for Sea Level Rise website.

Site Navigation

Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!