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This paper presents an evaluation of inundation, erosion, and wave damage for a coastal community in Rhode Island, USA. A methodology called the Coastal Environmental Risk Index (CERI) was used that incorporates levels of inundation including sea level rise, wave heights using STWAVE, and detailed information about individual structures from an E911 database. This information was input into damage functions developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers following Hurricane Sandy. Damage from erosion was evaluated separately from local published erosion rates. Using CERI, two different adaptation strategies were evaluated that included a combination of dune restoration, protective berms, and a tide gate. A total of 151 out of 708 structures were estimated to be protected from inundation and wave action by the combined measures. More importantly, the use of CERI allowed for the assessment of the impact of different adaptation strategies on both individual structures and an entire community in a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) environment. This tool shows promise for use by coastal managers to assess damage and mitigate risk to coastal communities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Christopher Small, Tyler Blanpied, Alicia Kauffman, Connor O'Neil, Nicholas Proulx, Matthew Rajacich, Hailey Simpson and Jeffrey White are students in the Department of Ocean Engineering. Malcolm Spaulding is a professor in the Department of Engineering. Christopher D.P. Baxter has a dual appointment with the Departments of Ocean Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.