On July 8th, Janet Freedman, coastal geologist for the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council met with a group of local residents at the North Kingstown Free Library to demonstrate STORMTOOLS, a new online mapping service for property owners in the Ocean State. Used to support studies of coastal management, STORMTOOLS predicts impacts of sea level rise and major storm events by modelling the effects of surging water across an interactive map. Homeowners were given the opportunity to use the STORMTOOLS program to assess the potential risks their coastal property may carry and observe the potential impacts on critical facilities in their area such as hospitals and rescue services. Created by URI Ocean Engineering Professor Malcolm Spaulding, the program is being piloted in Rhode Island with the intention to make the service available to other New England states in the future.
Refinements of STORMTOOLS are ongoing to improve its overall functions. “We’re still trying to figure out the most user friendly way to organize this information,” said Teresa Crean, coastal management extension specialist for Rhode Island Sea Grant and the URI Coastal Resources Center, to the group. Helping homeowners make well-informed decisions while aiding in planning and research ensures that STORMTOOLS will be an insightful tool in the future management of Rhode Island’s coastline.
STORMTOOLS was created as a part of the Rhode Island Beach Special Area Management Plan and is available to use online: http://edc.maps.arcgis.com/home/group.html?id=4186a143d31e4f5fb9aa7ab9027cbc9b
[info]More information on Rhode Island Beach SAMP is available here: http://www.beachsamp.org[/info]