More than 100 people will gather in Newport today to learn how to minimize impacts to waterfront businesses from sea level rise and other severe weather at the 13th Annual Baird Symposium. The one-day conference called, "Staying Afloat: Adapting Waterfront Businesses to Rising Seas and Extreme Storms," kicked off its symposium last night with a public lecture, featuring John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Levels and the Coming Coastal Crisis.
Pam Rubinoff, coastal management specialist and climate extension specialist at Rhode Island Sea Grant and the Coastal Resources Center at University of Rhode Island, said the conference brings businesses from Providence to Westerly to Newport to Bristol to discuss issues related to business waterfronts.
“We see these [places] are all very different. And we will be having some testimonials from Barrington, from a marina in Barrington, and a historic waterfront business in Providence.”
For example, Rising Sun Mills on the Providence River has renovated their facilities. The business owners will share their flood experiences and the steps they’ve taken to reduce and manage future flooding.
“During the day, we will be discussing: what is happening today and what are we expecting tomorrow? What can you do, looking at site planning and preparedness? What can we do, looking at issues of public planning and action—things we can do in partnership with each other,” said Rubinoff.
Rubinoff said the conference also brings colleagues from Louisiana, New Jersey, and New Hampshire to share lessons learned and best practices.
Web extras: Public lecture remarks recorded Tuesday, December 9 at the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University.