Sea Level Rise Phone App
We've got a sea level rise phone app that can crowdsource information about flooding. We are in a partnership with a number of data users - flood modelers, emergency managers, planners - to provide detailed information about where flooding is happening on the street level. We have a special relationship with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to help their work on their Storm Sense modeling effort.
We saw the crowd sourcing that sprung up after Hurricane Sandy and realized there was an opportunity to involve the public more deeply in the process of adaptation. With a grant from blue moon fund, we developed the phone app and have it in the field now, with V2.0 just released. Our goal is to involve more people in reporting impacts and to provide more detailed information about when and where flooding occurs - and do it in a cost effective way.
With the help of Dave Mayfield and the Virginian Pilot newspaper, we developed a regional mapping effort around the fall high tides - the “King Tides.” In 2017 we had over 700 people signed up and mapping the high tide event. We even won a Guinness Record for that work! We mapped again in 2018 and we are continuing with a Catch the King effort again this year. We’re also looking for a field organizer for the event.
We want to engage more folks in the issue - including the demographic that does not want to come to endless community meetings on flooding, etc. = younger people, busy people. Use this app to create an expanded network of "floodies," people concerned about flooding and sea level rise. Get enough folks involved and...
Use that group to collect real-time data on flooding during storm events and pass that along to modelers. Instead of waiting (forever) for government funding for enough tide gauges and instruments, we become the data network. With enough specific information we can...
We also want to develop the ability to push specific warning messages to people in advance of storms so we avoid losses and get ready for the inundation. We can crowd source our way around specific flooding events ("Don't take Hampton Boulevard this morning.") and bring a larger group into the adaptation conversation.
Best part - not a dime of taxpayer money involved - just lots of creative folks. And the more people who get involved the better it works.
P.S. - Senator Kaine mentioned the app in a recent visit to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science:
"We're dealing with the effects of climate change every day in Virginia and in Congress--from rewriting the federal flood insurance program, to Hurricane Sandy relief, to people in Norfolk using apps on their phones to check whether their streets will flood."