PIANC Workshop

Climate Change Adaptation for Maritime and Inland Port and Navigation Infrastructure

A North American PIANC Seminar and Workshop co-promoted by Baird & Associates and Port of New York and New Jersey

In December 2015, at COP21, 195 countries decided to adopt the so-called Paris agreement. This first-ever legally binding global climate deal initiates an international plan of action to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting warming to well below 2°C. PIANC participated in the COP21 transport-related side events, representing the ‘Think Climate’ coalition (see http://www.pianc.org/thinkclimate.php) in the discussions on adaptation as well as mitigation. These highlighted the challenges and opportunities associated with both strengthening the resilience of port and navigation infrastructure, and adapting infrastructure to the changing climate. The COP21 side-events also demonstrated that some of the countries and organizations likely to be hit hardest by climate change are the least well-resourced to adapt. During COP22, PIANC attended transport day and a side‑event on climate change adaptation; the momentum on climate change action remains strong and everyone has a role to play.
It is increasingly acknowledged that the consequences of climate change will affect both existing and new seaport and inland waterway infrastructure.  Adaptation (to reduce vulnerability or increase resilience) will therefore be necessary.  New designs will need to take into account the effects of climate change and some existing infrastructure may need retrofitting.  Non-structural measures including modifications to management activities, maintenance regimes and other port, harbor and waterway operations are also likely to be required to facilitate the continued function of the physical infrastructure.  The implications for infrastructure of an increase in the frequency of extreme events and associated adaptation options similarly need to be better understood.  Consequently, PIANC Working Group 178, is developing a guidance document titled “Climate Change Adaptation for Maritime and Inland Port and Navigation Infrastructure”.
A workshop was held at the Port of New York and New Jersey in Brooklyn on February 23 and 24, 2017 as part of PIANC Working Group 178.  The objective of the workshop was to gain information for Working Group 178 on the current state of climate change adaptation in the ports sector, raise awareness regarding climate change impacts, adaptation planning, and the forthcoming guidance document, and to provide a platform for organizations to exchange ideas.
The workshop was well attended with 55 people from the United States and Canada.  Attendees included representatives from the ports sector including government, industry, consultants, and academia.  Over the two half-day event, there were several presentations by The Port of New York and New Jersey; The University of Rhode Island; NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency; International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group; Baird & Associates; USACE Environmental Laboratory; and Vanderbilt University.  The workshop included a group breakout session where attendees were divided into smaller groups to discuss certain topics. 
To access the presentations, please use the links provided below:
Jennifer Ogrodnick, Baird & Associates, Workshop Introduction & Background
Mary Lee Clanton, Port of New York and New Jersey, Keynote (presentation not available)
Austin Becker,The University of Rhode Island, Indicating Climate Change Vulnerability to Inform Resilience - Pilot Study for North Atlantic Medium and High-Use Seaports
Peter Adams, NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, Planning for the Future of NYC’s Harbor
Vladimir Stenek, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group, Climate Risk Management & Resilience in Ports (presentation not available)
Ed Liegel, Baird & Associates, Climate Change Adaptation Case Study (presentation not available)
John Headland, Baird & Associates, Port Resiliency Quantification
Josh DeFlorio, Port of New York and New Jersey, Resilient by Design: Post-Sandy Design Guidelines and Practice at PANYNJ
Cate Fox-Lent, USACE Environmental Laboratory, Resilience and Sustainability of the Navigation System
Dr. Craig E Philip, Vanderbilt University, Resilience of the Inland Waterways in the 21st Century, It’s all About Governance
The workshop proved to be an excellent forum for sharing ideas between policy makers, researches, economists and engineers.  A number of important outcomes resulted from the workshop for PIANC Working Group 178 including an understanding of the biggest challenges faced when it comes to climate change adaptation in the United States and Canada.