Rising Seas

Education Modules > Module 3 > High School > Rising Seas > Planning

Planning—The Flood Next Time

Summary: In what manner and to what extent are communities preparing for future climate-induced coastal flooding and erosion? Communities are slowly beginning to understand the problem, and are in process of deciding which entities are responsible for planning, implementing and supporting adaptation strategies. This topic guide focuses on some of the strategies that are being considered along the west coast of the U.S.

Concepts to teach:


  1. Barriers to adaptive planning for climate change include a lack of a sense of urgency about the issue.
  2. Leadership is an important component of coastal adaptation planning.
  3. Planning adaptive strategies to cope with climate change relies on participation and input from several segments of society.

Standards: NGSS Performance Expectations

  • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

Specific Objectives:
Students will be able to:

  1. Describe a planning action being taken in a coastal community in response to climate change.
  2. Identify factors that may motivate different stakeholders who might participate on a climate change community planning team.
  3. Engage the public in a community adaptation planning discussion.

Activity Links and Resources:

  • Reading: Oregon Sea Grant's Coastal Climate Change - Survey Results for Oregon 2012—This survey summarizes an assessment of attitudes, barriers and needs for Oregon coastal climate change adaptation plans.
  • See The New Waterfront topic guide to review the predicted impacts of climate change on specific coastal communities. How can stakeholders in these communities come together to address local concerns?
    • Discuss strategies for engaging the public about the need to take action on a local level. For example, the RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities media project seeks to engage the public through telling the stories of people who have been impacted by climate change.
    • Challenge students to create a communication product that engages various audiences and stakeholders (peers, public officials, etc)
  • Reading: Examples of planning resources from communities in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Additional Resources
    • See the Coastal Decision-Making topic guide for an activity about stakeholders
    • Activity: Participate in the King Tide Photo Project—Document impacts of coastal flooding during extreme high tides
    • Oregon Dike Maps—How will dikes be affected by sea level rise? This NOAA Digital Coast map resource helps land managers locate dikes and levees so they can make critical decisions about these human-made structures.


  • Students share with community stakeholders their presentation identifying a need for adaptation planning for a climate-affected coastal hazard.
  • Create a public service announcement, poster, infographic, or other engaging display that describes a community's planning need for a specific climate-related concern.