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Travel Report from Shannon Jarbeau on the “At What Point Managed Retreat” Meeting held in New York City, New York on June 21, 2019

At the Board of Regional Commissioners’ regular meeting today, Shannon Jarbeau, Floodplain Specialist and Community Rating System Coordinator at the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and Woods Hole Sea Grant, gave an overview of her participation in the “At What Point Managed Retreat? Resilience Building in the Coastal Zone Conference, from June 19 – 21st in New York City.

The first of its kind, this international conference was organized by the Climate Adaptation Initiative at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and addressed a range of issues facing coastal communities in the United States and around the world as sea levels rise and coastal flooding becomes more frequent and intense. The science around retreat is still not defined, and this conference brought together thought leaders on this topic to advance the science and policy dialogue.

Shannon not only brings home valuable discussion topics and information to the Cape, but as a result of her attendance, New Hampshire Sea Grant will be working with Barnstable County to conduct interviews with stakeholders on Cape Cod, (homeowners, coastal managers, elected officials) to get a balance of perspectives and opinions on the retreat issue.

Since Shannon began working at Barnstable County, she has helped five towns complete the application process to receive flood insurance discounts, making it a total of nine towns on the Cape, with four more towns currently in the application process. So far this has saved 3,000 policyholders on Cape Cod over $420,000 annually in flood insurance.